NFL Salary Cap: Giants Are Victims of Own Success

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

There is always a price to pay for success, and no team knows that better than the Giants these days after doling out big bucks this week to retain a walk-on player by the name of Victor Cruz.

He wasn’t supposed to become a cornerstone of the franchise and therefore wasn’t figured into their longterm salary plans. 168 catches, 2628 yards and 19 TDs later, Cruz has ingratiated himself into those plans in a big way. So big, in fact, that he may knock one of the team’s building blocks out of his rightful place.

In recent seasons, the Giants have drafted well. They have been excellent in the first round the past five seasons (David Wilson, Prince Amukamara, JPP, Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Phillips) and highly successful in  Round 2 (Rueben Randle, Linval Joseph, Will Beatty and Terrell Thomas).

Many of those players will be vying for new deals, and soon. Cruz’ success and big payday will cut into the Giants’ plans to retain some of those players. But such is the world. Nicks is scheduled to become and unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. JPP is signed through 2014. Both will be expensive to keep.

One wold assume this is business as usual, but when you take into account that Eli Manning’s cap number will be hovering near $20 million the next few seasons, the Giants will have some tough decisions to make in the near future.

ESPN NFC East blogger Dan Graziano outlines the challenges Jerry Reese and Co. face the next 24 months….