Victor Cruz says he'll play regardless of pay
Victor Cruz was a smiling presence in front of his locker Thursday, living up to his word about not holding out despite his publicized desire for a new contract.
The receiver said he’s not the type to hold out anyway. “I’m just happy to be here,” Cruz said. “The contract stuff will take care of itself.”
Cruz said in February he feels he should earn a significant raise — he earned $450,000 in 2011 and is scheduled to make $490,000 next year. But he said no contract dispute would keep him from playing. When asked directly if he would still play in 2012 at the salary he’s been paid now, Cruz said yes.
“It’s fine,” Cruz said. “It’s going to take care of itself. I have people that I hired to take care of that aspect of my life. They’ll do their jobs and when the time comes we’ll see how it goes.”
Jerry Reese said that finding an extension for Cruz was one of the many things that are "on our plate" as the team prepares for the draft.
Cruz, who burst on the scene last year and salsa danced his way into the national celebrity limelight, said his offseason continues to seem surreal and the only disappointment came when he was not chosen for the prestigious cover of the video game Madden NFL ‘13.
“You pick up Madden every year, you play Madden, you always want to see who’s on the cover,” Cruz said. “To see myself on that cover would’ve been a dream come true.”
Just about everything else has been fulfilled, though, from a Fashion Week cameo to a parade in hometown Paterson, N.J., to presenting at the Grammys. “It’s been eventful,” Cruz said. “I’ve done a lot of things I’d only dreamed of doing.”
After a 1,500-yard season, Cruz’s spot in the receiving corps is secure, but he said he’s looking forward to see who might be capable of following his footsteps this year.
“As you could see last year, that third role was definitely an important one for us,” Cruz said. “I think it’s going to be a good battle between Domenik Hixon and Ramses (Barden) and Jerrel (Jernigan). I’m excited for them. I’m excited to see the competition, it’s going to raise my level of play.”