In real-life standards, making $490,000 is a pretty decent salary. In the world of pro football, it’s more like a “meh” financial reward, almost the definition of entry-level pay. For an outgoing wide receiver who was virtually unknown before this season and then exploded with an 82-catch, 1,536-yard, nine-touchdown performance and became known as the guy who salsa dances after he scores, it’s an outrage.
Well, not really an outrage, but after his glorious season that ended with a touchdown catch in the Giants Super Bowl XLVI win against the Patriots, Victor Cruz -- who made $450,000 in 2011 -- would like a substantial raise for 2012.
“I think I was paid, you know, relative to where I came in this year and, you know, I came in as a free agent so that’s the salary I was on, so I don’t feel like I was underpaid,” Cruz told the men at Pro Football Talk. “I mean, I feel like after my performance this year, you know, I feel like I deserve to be paid more money at this point. But that’s something I’ll let my agents and those people take care of and I’ll just go out there and play the game.”
I don’t think many people would disagree that Cruz deserves more money after his 2011 performance, but remember, he signed a three-year $1.2 million contract after he went unselected in the 2010 draft. He missed all of last season with an injury, so it's not like Cruz has put together multiple seasons of consistency.
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But in other Cruz news, it’s also been reported that he signed with the powerful IMG agency after the Super Bowl. That won’t increase his ability to barter for a new deal with the Giants, because IMG was hired to work on his marketing and endorsement campaigns (I see either a marketing campaign for Tostitos salsa or for Fred Astaire Dance Studios, though considering Cruz turned down “Dancing with the Stars,” he might like to go less mainstream).
However, adding IMG means Cruz most likely will make more money this year. And if that money doesn’t come from the Giants, Cruz might have to be OK with that.
In even more Cruz news, he weighed in on the laughable “Rob Gronkowski was dancing with his shirt off after the Patriots lost” controversy. Cruz, it seems, disagrees with the spirit of what Gronkowski was doing.
“I would have been in my room, watching TV, soaking in the moment,” Cruz told PFT. “It’s not every day you make it to a Super Bowl, man. . . . Some guys play 15, 16 years in this league and don’t make it the Super Bowl. Or even the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl. . . . I probably wouldn’t have been partying too much after that.”
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