Why Victor Cruz's new contract will have no impact on A.J. Green

Andy Lyons

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green will be a free agent in two years. Using Cruz's numbers on his prolonged contract negotiation is a bad idea.

At least the New York market won't have this to dominate the national sports media. Not any more. After prolonged negotiations that played through the media, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz signed a five-year extension worth $43 million Monday, on top of the one-year tender that Cruz signed earlier this offseason.

The story was first reported by Jay Glazer with Fox Sports.

The average of $8.6 million per season in "new" money isn't quite the double digits Cruz was hoping to get from the Giants, but it's more than $2 million more per year than Wes Welker and Danny Amendola received to set what was the top of the market for slot receivers this offseason.

In case you're chipping away with your accountants calculator, don't use this deal as a basis for what the Bengals could sign wide receiver A.J. Green, who will be an unrestricted free agent after 2014.

Though the dollars makes Cruz the highest-paid slot receiver in the NFL, he's only 18th among all wide receivers. Only. As if that word makes sense. Whatever.

We're thinking that Green's eventual contract will either set the market at the position, or lean against Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald money of something in the neighborhood of $15 million per season and $45-50 million guaranteed. At least that's the opinion of Andrew Brandt with Sports Illustrated.

While agents for receivers to this point have willingly accepted a market under that of "Fitz/Megatron", I would expect a more aggressive posture for Green and Jones. They are on track to exceed the Jackson/Bowe/Harvin level and bump up right against the Fitz/Megatron standard.

The Jackson/Bowe/Havin level is "in the range of $11 million" per season with "$26 million guaranteed."

It doesn't matter anyway. Green isn't allowed to negotiate a new deal until after his third season, and even then the Bengals will have the option to use the franchise tag after the 2014 season when Green becomes an unrestricted free agent.

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