- Kieran Darcy, ESPN Staff Writer
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This is very good news, Giants fans. And here are three reasons why:
Numbers don't lie: In his first two years in the NFL, Cruz posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. In fact, his 1,536 receiving yards in 2011 was third in the NFL, and the most in franchise history.
The Giants have had only 21 1,000-yard receiving seasons in their 87-year history. Only 10 players have done it, and only six players, including Cruz, have done it more than once.
No more questions: Cruz and his contract situation loomed over the Giants like a dark cloud during the offseason. Coach Tom Coughlin, and Cruz's teammates, were asked about it over and over again. They had to have grown weary of that.
The Giants are trying to bounce back from a disappointing finish in 2012, and the last thing they need is a training-camp holdout, or a messy contract situation, to deal with. That potential distraction has now been removed.
Next man up: With Cruz taken care of, the Giants can move on to working on a new deal for fellow wideout Hakeem Nicks.
Nicks is another of the six receivers in franchise history with multiple 1,000-yard seasons. He is at least as important as Cruz, if not more. The Giants' offense fell apart last season with Nicks out, or handicapped, due to injury.
If Cruz had played for the one-year tender he signed last month, then both Cruz and Nicks would have been free agents after this season, which may have made it more difficult to retain both. Now the Giants can focus on striking a deal with Nicks, with Cruz already in the fold.