Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Superstar wide receiver Victor Cruz, whether he is on the field with his teammates or not, will be under an immense amount of pressure when camp opens up in July. Cruz has quickly become the team’s top pass-catcher, but recent headlines have focused on his contract dispute rather than his league-famous salsa dance.
After catching 168 passes in the past two seasons combined, Cruz is on the lookout for a top-tier payday. As a restricted free agent, however, he hasn’t had a chance to drive his price up on the open market. With the Giants holding much of the leverage, the cards in Cruz’ hand are quickly dwindling, and a holdout is becoming more likely with each passing day.
Cruz understands that he is a valuable cog in the Giants offense, as evidenced by the $10-11 million a year he is asking to be paid. If Cruz does hold out of training camp, he will leave quarterback Eli Manning without his favorite target during pivotal rhythm-building days. Off the field, he will risk being portrayed as a prima donna.
On the other hand, if a deal is reached in time, Cruz will then face the pressure to live up to the terms of the deal. If the deal is particularly lucrative, he will be expected to raise his already unlikely production to a new level.
Because of his uncertain future and all the added attention on him this offseason, Cruz will be under the most pressure at the start of camp.