Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How much more money is Victor Cruz going to make in 2013 now?

Here's the answer to that question:
  • Taking into account immediate signing bonus money and his base salary for 2013, Cruz got a $7,251,000 raise: 
    • (I) his $9.5 million signing bonus for 2013 & 
    • (II) a base salary of $630,000

In summary, Cruz is set to make $10,130,000 in actual dollars in 2013 (with $9.5 million upfront) vs. the $2,879,000 that he was set to make before this deal (with none of it up front), so he wins from an immediate standpoint. This explanation of the situation is according to this breakdown of Cruz's new contract by Jason Fitzgerald yesterday from

That $7,251,000 raise is quite a haul over what Cruz was set to earn this year had he not signed this contract. By agreeing to this contract, as Jason points out in the outstanding article above, "...Cruz benefits from the money now rather than later." Jason also states the following:

The Giants, on the other hand, benefit from the ability to begin prorating a signing bonus immediately, thus limiting their dead money hits on the contract since the CBA only allows proration for a 5-year maximum period.

This is significant to note because  of the fact that there isn't any dead money in the last year of his deal in 2018. This is due to the proration limitation of 5 years under the new CBA that was agreed upon two years ago between the players and the owners. At that point, with a year left on his deal, the Giants could simply release Cruz after the 2017 season, without any dead money whatsoever counting against the cap and clearing up $8.5 million in cap space in the process.

The Giants have an extra $349,000 in cap space now as the result of the Cruz deal.

As of today, the Giants are officially $3,657,682 under the salary cap. This is as per the NFLPA's League  Top 51 Cap Report. While the Victor Cruz deal was agreed upon almost 2 days ago, it took time for the transaction to be reflected in the NFLPA's accounting. The official cap number we see now takes into account Cruz's adjusted 2013 cap number of $2,530,000 that gave the Giants an additional $349,000 in cap room to work with. As I write in my last two posts, Cruz's cap number would be the number that it is now.

For over a month, the Giants' cap number was stagnant, at $3,308,682. This additional cap room gives them the cap number of $3,657,682 that we see reflected in the official NFLPA records as of today. Once again, here is the breakdown of Victor Cruz's contract, courtesy of

Next up, are the contracts for unsigned draft picks Justin Pugh (1st round; 19th overall pick in the draft) and Ryan Nassib (4th round; 110th overall pick in the draft) out of Syracuse. The Giants will be able to sign these Orangemen without making any additional changes to their cap vis-a-vis additional restructures, renegotiations, extensions, or flat-out cuts. Pugh will count against the cap when he's signed, with an estimated cap 2013 number of $1,517,436 as per Joel Corry & Jason Fitzgerald, but Nassib won't since his expected 2013 cap number of $519,114 won't fit into the Giants' top 51 cap numbers currently on the team, whereas Pugh's will.

After signing Pugh, whose cap number in 2013 is estimated to be $1,517,436 as per the list of rookie contracts and salary cap estimates for players in this year's draft from, the Giants should be $2,696,246. This is because Pugh's 2013 cap number will displace the 51st ranked cap number on the team now belonging to Spencer Paysinger, which is for $556,000; the net difference of $961,436 is what is subtracted from the current official figure of $3,657,682 posted above, not Pugh's estimated cap number of $1,517,436.

After the start of training camp, we'll see something done to create $1 to $2 million more in cap space. My guess is that they'll hold off on touching Eli's contract this year if they can, and instead find that extra money needed for regular season operational expenses--which I'll get to sometime in the near future after training camp starts--via other means. A restructuring of Punter Steve Weatherford's contract would be logical. This could create up to a maximum of $738,750 in additional cap room in 2013, thereby increasing the 2013 cap number for the Giants in this logically based hypothetical scenario of mine from $2,696,246 to $3,434,996. Here are Weatherford's current numbers:

Under the scenario I mapped out for Weatherford whose contract ends after the 2016 season, his 2013 base salary of $1,825,000 would be converted to a signing bonus. The minimum salary for a player with Weatherford's 7 accrued seasons (he's been punting in the NFL since 2006) is $840,000. See the chart below from

The difference of $985,000 from the two figures noted above is then divided by the four remaining years of his contract, including 2013. The resulting figure of $246,250 is then multiplied by 3 (the years left on his contract that don't include this season). This is how I came up with the $738,750 figure I noted above. Weatherford's cap numbers in 2014, 2015, and 2016 would go up $246,250 as a result of this restructure. He'll be happy to get that $985,000 worth of salary turned into bonus money up front as a result of this move, and the Giants will gain $738,750 worth of extra cap space added to whatever their cap number will be at the time if this gets done.

Weatherford is a guy who looks to be around for a long time. He won't turn 31 until mid-December, and he keeps himself in great shape. I wouldn't be surprised to see him sign an extension after the 2015 season, to bring his cap number down before the final season on his current deal (he'll be 33 after the 2015 season's conclusion). It would make perfect sense for Weatherford to remain a Giant for another long-term contract (3 plus years or more) after this one. That's why a small restructure like this makes sense.

We'll see what happens going forward, but I scenario like this would seem to work for both sides, as both sides would benefit from it. The Giants, by my estimate, need an additional $1 to $2 million worth of cap room in order to be able to function in the regular season, based on my second attempt at a 53-man roster projection that I made on June 29.

Another move in addition to this one would also be logical if the Giants need some more room near the end of the preseason. It will all depend on who gets hurt as well during training camp and the preseason, as that will also factor into the Giants' cap situation. A late summer restructure to Antrel Rolle's contract for a million bucks worth of cap room would also not be out of the question, should the Giants need it. Whether they do, or don't is too early to determine now, as things are just too fluid during training camp and preseason to know for sure until near the very end in late August (right before the cessation of the Top 51 rule deadline on September 5th). We also have to factor in if the giants sign any more free agents during training camp too (the Vonta Leach story looks to me to be a plant by his agent to try to create a market for his client to get him some more money).

The Weatherford restructure in this scenario may also be enough for the Giants, so if anything else besides his restructured gets done, it probably won't occur until late in the summer, leaving Eli's contract untouched until next year, at which time his contract will likely be extended to give the Giants the added room that they will need for the upcoming second contracts of Hakeem Nicks and Jason Pierre-Paul.