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Details of Victor Cruz deal with Bears show it’s highly incentivized

Jesse Reed
Victor Cruz
Aug 22, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) smiles while talking to fans before a game between the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Cruz can earn up to $4 million this year as a member of the Chicago Bears, but he’s only guaranteed an eighth of that amount.

As Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune details, Cruz is only guaranteed $500,000 this season that comes by way of a signing bonus. He has a base salary of $1 million that is not guaranteed, can earn an additional $500,000 in roster bonuses and $2 million in additional incentives.

The incentives are as follows:

  • 50 percent playing time: $250,000
  • 60 percent playing time: $375,000
  • 70 percent playing time: $500,000
  • 5 touchdowns: $250,000
  • 6 touchdowns: $375,000
  • 7 touchdowns: $500,000
  • 40 receptions: $250,000
  • 50 receptions: $375,000
  • 60 receptions: $500,000
  • 600 receiving yards: $250,000
  • 700 receiving yards: $375,000
  • 800 receiving yards: $500,000

Even the total earning potential of $4 million shows the Bears are not convinced Cruz will be able to be a big-time player for them this year. This is hardly surprising given his many health setbacks the past few years dating back to his patellar tendon injury in 2014.

That said, Cruz has a real chance to change this narrative with a strong 2017 campaign. He caught 39 passes last year for 586 yards and one touchdown in 15 games for the New York Giants but was pushed out of the lineup when rookie Sterling Shepard started to become an integral part of the offense.

If Cruz does stay healthy and is able to produce at a high level this season in Chicago, then he will have an opportunity to glean the financial benefit heading into 2018.