SAN FRANCISCO — Victor Cruz says the Giants have yet to approach him about reworking his hefty contract to a size more appropriate for a receiver who has not taken an NFL snap in 16 months because of injury. But if they do, it sounds as if he’ll sign for whatever numbers they put in front of him.
“I don’t care about that stuff,” he said on Radio Row at the Super Bowl on Thursday. “I realize the way I came into this game was on a humble opportunity, and wherever this goes, I just want to play. It’s been two years of not playing. I just want to go out there and play, and whatever happens after that happens.”
Cruz, who will turn 30 Nov. 11, is due to make $7.9 million in 2016 with a cap hit of $9.9 million, which would be the second-highest on the team at this point. That’s likely way too much for someone who tried to come back from a patellar tendon tear suffered in October 2014, only to spend all of 2015 sidelined by a calf injury that ultimately required surgery.
The Giants have a history of reworking such deals to keep a player on a more incentive-based structure. They also could cut him. Cruz said he is ready for any of that and reiterated his main objective.
“I just want to play,” he said. “Whatever it takes, whether it’s with the Giants or anyone else. Obviously, the Giants are home, they’re family. But I just want to play football, man.”
Cruz said the calf injury that cost him the 2015 season was a torn fascia.
“It just wasn’t healing right,” he said. “It would half-heal. If you ran on it after like six weeks, it would kind of pop again. So we had to shut it down, have the surgery, cement the calf back down so it can heal properly, and then we’re back to 100 percent.”
Cruz said he is rehabbing to strengthen the calf, a regimen that includes walking on treadmills and underwater exercises. He said he can run but that trainers have not allowed him to do so yet. He also said he expects the calf to heal 100 percent.
Of course, that’s been the line pretty much since Cruz first suffered the injury last August in training camp. It went from day-to-day to week-to-week to season-ending.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “There is no more pain, there are no more setbacks or anything like that. Now we’re just working on getting the strength back so I can be able to run and cut and all those good things.”
If Cruz does return to the Giants, it will the first time he plays for a coach other than Tom Coughlin.
“He’s my guy,” Cruz said. “He’s the one who pretty much took a chance on me coming into this league and gave me an opportunity. So it’s sad to see him go, but certain things are just out of your hands as an individual and as an athlete. It was tough to see him go, but he’ll definitely be in my thoughts all the time, and the things that he has taught me will never fade.”
Cruz did say he and new coach Ben McAdoo have a “very good” relationship. He thinks the former offensive coordinator will do well in his new gig.
“I think he has a great temperament,” Cruz said. “I think he brings a good energy to the head-coaching position. I think guys are going to love to play for him because he understands us. He understands how to talk to us, he understands what gets us excited. And he understands that we need to work hard to get to where we need to go. He’s a guy who can facilitate that.”
Cruz hopes he can be, too.