Training camps are on the horizon – THANK THE HIGH HEAVENS! – which means squads are sewing up loose ends before reporting. For the Giants, arguably their most immediate itch which needed to be scratched is now a done deal. Victor Cruz inked a five year, $43M contract ($15.6M reportedly guaranteed) to remain with Eli and the gang ensuring one of the NFC East’s most potent weapons didn’t leave the Tri-State area.
When asked by reporters the reason behind the offseason-long discussion regarding his contract negotiations, the 26-year-old Super Bowl champ and Pro Bowler gave a sense of perspective with his answer. “I was like, you know what? I’m done with the back and forth. What’s on the table is a really good deal. I’m really excited about it, and it’s going to provide security for my family for a very long time. I felt like today was the day.”
The next order of business for the man who singlehandedly made the salsa dance popular in NFL circles now involves a buddy with a similar job description. Cruz is adamant about his partner-in-reception, Hakeem Nicks, remaining a Giant alongside him. “Oh yeah, I’m definitely going to put the pressure on him to come back and see if he wants to play with me for the long haul and see if we can do this together for a couple of years,” Cruz told the New York Daily News.
Chances are he may get his wish if Nicks remains healthy and puts up the numbers this petrified Dallas fan knows he is capable of in the forthcoming season. An Eli/Nicks/Cruz trio for the next half decade has me sick just pondering the heartache.
Meanwhile, in Detroit, the Lions are dropping $53M over the next three years on signal caller Matthew Stafford, according to Adam Schefter and ESPN. Judging off the surface of the deal, Stafford looks to have made out like a bandit. Not only does he get to throw passes to one of science’s greatest inventions in the machine known as Calvin Johnson. Not only is a whooping $41.5M of that extension guaranteed. But, by the time the deal ends, he’ll only be 29. This means he’s likely going to cash out again in the summer of 2017, barring injury or an extreme drop off in production.
While the Lions haven’t yet turned the corner as a squad to Super Bowl threat, it’s hard to fault Detroit for shelling out the bread they did. Since the 2011 season, the former University of Georgia gunslinger has thrown for an eye-popping 10,005 yards, leaving him only behind Drew Brees (10,653) and Tom Brady (10,062) for the most during said span. It’s been through those two seasons, too, where Stafford has put to rest a good chunk of the durability concerns plaguing the first two seasons of his pro career.
The only question remaining now for Detroit’s offense is can Reggie Bush provide the long-needed spark to a running game ranked 23rd last season. Not only does it take pressure off Stafford – whose arm somehow hasn’t fallen off after 1,390 combined pass attempts in 2011 and 2012 – but the threat of a home run passing and rushing attack is something very few teams employ.
Anywho, Stafford’s contract is only the latest in an offseason swing of mammoth deals for quarterbacks like Joe Flacco, Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers. Next on the clock? Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.
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