Victor Cruz said he felt relief after signing a new six-year contract with the New York Giants through the 2018 National Football League season.
The deal between the 26-year-old Cruz and the Giants, announced by the team in an e-mailed release, is worth $45.9 million, according to Fox Sports. That includes the one-year, $2.88 million tender he signed last month and $15.6 million in guaranteed money, Fox reported citing unidentified people familiar with the package.
“I feel I can just kick back and play football again,” Cruz, the Giants’ season record-holder for receiving yards, said yesterday in a statement.
Undrafted out of the University of Massachusetts and signed by the Giants in 2010, Cruz had a team-leading 1,092 yards receiving and 10 touchdown catches last season. That followed his first full year, when he caught nine touchdown passes and had 1,536 yards receiving, a franchise season record.
In those two seasons, only five NFL wide receivers had more catches than Cruz. A native of Paterson, New Jersey, he had four catches for 25 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 21-17 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots following the 2011 season. He became a fan favorite with his salsa dancing celebration following touchdown catches.
Cruz’s signing comes three weeks after the restricted free agent told ESPN that he’d sign a one-year tender -- a mandatory offer under the NFL’s labor agreement -- with the team while he pursued a long-term contract to remain in New York.
Cruz didn’t attend the Giants’ offseason conditioning program or last month’s minicamp because he didn’t have a contract at that time, according to the statement. He said yesterday that he’ll be ready to report to training camp later this month.
“The work is just getting started for me,” Cruz said. “It’s a whole new window of opportunity, a whole new world for me after this contract.”