Victor Cruz Contract: Hakeem Nicks Not as Valuable as Giants' Salsa Dancer (Commentary)

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Feb 04, 2013 01:07 PM EST
Victor Cruz
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (L) celebrates scoring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter of their NFL football game in East Rutherford.
(Photo : REUTERS/Adam Hunger) "

Victor Cruz made a name for himself playing for the New York Giants and beating up their opponents. However, this offseason, the Giants seem to be his biggest opponent in negotiations and his teammate Hakeem Nicks could prevent Cruz from remaining with the organization. The Giants will have to think twice about signing Nicks long term and letting Cruz walk.

The reason why I'd prefer Cruz over Nicks is because of health. If you're unhealthy, you won't play and if you can't play then you're useless in a team's winning efforts. Nicks missed three games this season, but was nowhere near 100 percent during the season due to a foot injury.

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Cruz, though falling quite short of his yardage total from last season, still put together great numbers. He caught 86 passes for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. Those were his career highs in receptions and touchdowns.

He entered the season being the No. 1 receiver and that's how he finished the year as he lead the Giants in all three categories.

Despite Cruz's great performance and back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, the Giants still want the 26-year-old to ask for a little less money as they prefer to sign Nicks to a long term deal.

However, this decision isn't so wise. Nicks is great, but Cruz is better. Nicks is a bigger and a traditional wide receiver, but he was outperformed by Cruz last season even when being the official No. 1 receiver for the Giants.

Nicks caught 76 passes for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns while Cruz introduced himself to the NFL with a 1,536 yard season, 82 catches and nine touchdowns. Cruz once again led the Giants in all three of those stats.

The Giants probably want to sign Nicks to a long term deal because he works on the outside and presents a big bodied receiver with gigantic hands. He just turned 25 and is entering his fifth season with the Giants.

Roddy White dissed Cruz for playing the slot, but the fact is Cruz works better from there. They depended on Cruz and he was there all season long despite the Giants missing the playoffs. Cruz has proven that he's an elite receiver and can compete and breakdown any secondary in the NFL.

The Giants can't lose Cruz. He's winner and works hard to perfect his craft. He's also the most popular Giant right next to Eli Manning.

This should be the Giants plan: pay Cruz because he deserves a fat check for being a champion and providing the offensive help for Manning. By signing the salsa dancer, the Giants ensure they have Cruz and Nicks on the same team next season giving Manning enough targets to once again place the team in a position to win.

Without Cruz the Giants won't be the same dynamic offensive team. Keeping Nicks as the long term man is just too risky.

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