There are a number of New York Giants players who deserve a fatter paycheck than they are receiving now, following the team's Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. A solid amount of Giants players performed far better than expected in the 2011-2012 regular season and playoffs.
Of course, it would be great to have the salary cap space to pay everyone a little more, but that's obviously impossible. Here are the guys who really deserve a raise.
Chase Blackburn went from clapping erasers in November to making a key interception in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The 28-year-old linebacker played a huge part in the New York Giants' postseason run and should be rewarded for it. In the last six games, he had 37 tackles as he proved to be instrumental in the great play of the defense.
The former special teams captain just finished out a one-year contract, so the front office should lock him up for another season and throw in a little extra.
Linval Joseph had two more tackles than teammate Chris Canty this season. Canty made over $5 million while Joseph only made $450,000. That doesn't add up.
Joseph benched 225 pounds at the combine 39 times, which makes him one of the strongest players in the league. Strength is always a good thing.
He compiled 49 total tackles in 2011-2012 and is a huge body in the middle at 6'4" and 323 pounds. The second-year defensive tackle is only 23 years old and will most likely have to wait a few years before getting a substantial increase in his yearly pay, even though he's definitely earned it.
The first New York Giants wide receiver on this list is Hakeem Nicks. The Giants got some serious bang for their buck, as they only had to pay Nicks $575,000 this season. He'll be making $750,000 next year and $925,000 in 2013.
Jerry Reese needs to find a way to restructure Nicks' contract, as he put up great numbers this season and led the league in postseason receiving yards with 444. The former Tar Heel is such a threat all over the field, because he can go up to make the play in the end zone or he can bust out a screen for big yardage.
The Giants can't afford their relations with such a versatile, young talent to sour if they want to build upon their Super Bowl win.
Jason Pierre-Paul is in just his second year out of South Florida, but he didn't play like it this season. He led all defensive ends with 86 total tackles and was fourth in the league in sacks with 16.5.
He only pulled in $475,000 this year, which was definitely a bargain for the Giants. Despite the fact that his salary will be steadily increasing over the next two years, he will be seeking a hefty raise in the future.
It's hard to imagine what could have become of the Giants' magical season if JPP hadn't blocked that field goal in Dallas.
Did you really think there would be anybody else at No. 1 on this list? Victor Cruz had a breakout season for the ages, as he caught 82 balls for 1,536 yards along with nine touchdowns.
The explosive undrafted wide receiver out of UMass will make $490,000 in a contract season next year and is primed to rake in a massive payout when he signs a new deal.
Not only is Cruz revered on the field by fans, he's quite the celebrity off of it as well. The second-team All-Pro selection has done an unbelievable job of keeping a clear head on his shoulders while still embracing the pressure cooker that is the New York sports market.
Here's a clip of the original salsa dance, the one that started it all in Week 3 at Philadelphia.