New York Giants: What Does Wes Welker Deal Mean for Victor Cruz?

Doug RushSenior Analyst IMarch 13, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 21:  Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants runs after a catch for the winning touchdown as Josh Wilson #26 of the Washington Redskins give chase in the fourth quarter of a 27-23 Giant win  at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the NFL received a major shock with Wes Welker's change of address.

The long-time New England Patriot wide receiver agreed to a two-year deal with the Denver Broncos, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

 

Wes Welker lands a two-year, $12 million deal from the Broncos. Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker. Have fun, Peyton.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2013

 

During the start of free agency, we all wondered if Welker was really going to leave the Patriots or not, and he clearly showed that he was fed up with not getting the kind of deal he wanted.

So now, with Welker off the market, what does that mean for Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz?

Well, as you can guess, a lot of people's first reaction was that the Patriots should try to sign Cruz to an offer and see if the Giants will match it or not.

Cruz was given a first-round tender by the Giants on Monday. If he accepts, it would pay him around $2.9 million for 2013, but Cruz is hoping for a long-term deal.

My gut feeling tells me that the Patriots won't be going for Cruz if they were unwilling to meet Welker's asking price.

Not only would the Patriots have to sign Cruz and hope the Giants don't match the offer, they would have to give up their first-round draft pick to them as well, and I really don't think that's something Bill Belichick wants to do.

But Welker's deal might have ended up helping the Giants, considering Welker accepted less money and fewer years on a contract to move to Denver.

Plus, if a team really wants to land a wide receiver this spring, Greg Jennings, Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola are still on the market and wouldn't cost a team a first-round pick either.

The other thing that I honestly feel will fall into the Giants' favor in this whole saga is Cruz changing agents to Tom Condon.

Condon is also the agent for Eli Manning, Mathias Kiwanuka, Osi Umenyiora and Mark Herzlich; all of those deals have been completed over the last four years.

The Giants also have to try to lock up Hakeem Nicks as well, who is a year away from hitting free agency as well. The team wants to lock him up long term.

So the Giants and GM Jerry Reese have to figure out a plan in order to keep both Cruz and Nicks around for Manning to throw to for the next several years.

Honestly, I think Condon will sit down with Cruz and he'll have to make him realize he might not get a deal like Percy Harvin or Mike Wallace, but he can get something in the middle.

Welker got $6 million a season in his deal. If they use that as a starting point in a deal, the Giants could go the route of a five-year, $42 million deal.

That could put Cruz at roughly $8 million per season, and if the Giants want to throw in a signing bonus and incentives, I'm sure they could work that in as well.

Deep down, I think the Giants and Cruz will get a deal done before 2013 that pays him nicely and doesn't break the bank.

But for now, we all continue to wait.

Stay tuned, Giants fans.