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Giants are Cruzin' Nowhere Fast as Contract Negotiations Remain Stagnant

By Andrew Goodman

Victor Cruz has proven himself to be one of the NFL's top wide receivers over the past couple seasons. In the past two seasons, Cruz has played every game and averages more than five receptions per game. He led the Giants in all major receiving categories both years and is quickly rising to become one of the elite receivers in the NFL. However, the 26-year-old superstar is not happy with his current contract.

For those of you who haven't been following the struggling negotiations between Cruz and the Giants, Cruz wants a new contract that will pay him no less than $9 million each year. However, Cruz's current contract has him liable to play this year for $2.879 million. Cruz could have made as little as $630,000 this year, had he not accepted the Giants offer of $2.879 million in time, but the restricted free agent still wants more.

The Giants offered Cruz a multi-year deal that would pay him just over $7 million per season, but Cruz turned the team down. In Cruz's defense, he has put up stellar numbers worthy of a nice paycheck. However on the other side of things, Cruz has only been in the league for two years. Signing a long-term deal to a relatively new rising star is risky. The Giants don't want to get stuck paying Cruz $9 million a year if he winds up becoming your average wide receiver.

Cruz has several routes he can take in this situation. He can go ahead and accept the Giants deal, make $7 million a year and if he continues to play at a high level maybe renegotiate in a few years, but this seems highly unlikely, as Cruz is set on making at least $9 million a year. Cruz can play this year for just under $3 million and if he has another good season, raise his price tag for next season. However, this doesn't work in Cruz's favor either, as the Giants can simply franchise him. The third option is for Cruz to holdout, which seems like his best bet. If Cruz holds out he won't get any money until he plays, but the Giants will also be down their best wide receiver.

The Giants need Cruz to be a contender. He is Eli's go-to-guy and has come up with some huge catches for the team. However, the Giants have shown no sign of giving Cruz the $9 million a year that he wants. If Cruz does holdout, Hakeem Nicks will get bumped up to the primary receiver spot, while slot receiver Rueben Randle would most likely become the number two receiver. Nicks missed part of last season due to injury and Randle has only 19 receptions in his one year career, so losing Cruz will definitely deal a huge blow to the Giants' offense.

Hopefully Cruz and the Giants can come to some sort of agreement before it is time to report to training camp. Negotiations have been underway, but haven't led to any agreements between the two parties. The Giants are definitely in a tough spot, as they need Cruz but would be taking a big risk by signing him to a long term contract.

What do you think the Giants and Victor Cruz should do? Should the Giants give Cruz the contract he wants? Should Cruz settle for what the Giants are paying him? Or should Cruz holdout? Share your thoughts. Comment below.