Wide receiver Victor Cruz and the New York Giants reportedly agreed to a five year, $43 million contract extension Monday. The deal, which is to be officially signed on Tuesday, will pay Cruz $15.6 million in guaranteed money.
Along with the $2.9 million Cruz was already guaranteed in 2013, a reported $9.5 million signing bonus brings the deal’s total value over $45 million.
Cruz, who was signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2010, becomes the highest paid receiver in team history.
The now three year veteran is on pace to be one of the most successful undrafted players in NFL history. Cruz has stacked 2,600 receiving yards into his first three seasons as a professional. All of which were gathered in 2011 and 2012. Cruz was unable to record a single yard in his rookie season.
Cruz couldn’t be happier with the result.
“I think my deal is tremendous,” Cruz told the NY Daily News. “I think it’s definitely a great deal. I don’t want to be anywhere else. I don’t want to play anywhere else.”
“Financially my family is set for the rest of my life,” he continued. “That’s all I could ask for.”
Cruz’s Cinderella story has humbled him thus far. He has hope to avoid the financial instability of former players like Warren Sapp, or Terrell Owens.
“My whole life has been a blessing,” Cruz told the New York Times. “I’ve come a long way.”
It is refreshing to hear a player talking about a life outside of football. Not looking to get paid like a super star, instead just looking for enough to support a family.
“It wasn’t about being the highest-paid,” Cruz went on. “It was about comfort and security. It was about taking care of my family.”
“It was important for me to stay in the area so I can be a role model for my community and all the people who look up to me. There’s a lot I can do in that way.”
Too many players waste their millions on fancy oddities and end up in trouble at the end of their career. Cruz is already laying out his future. He is laying out plans to help his family and the community that turned him into a millionaire. All this and papers have not even been signed yet.
It is a character that too many NFL stars lack.
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