Blake Martinez Reworks Contract to Remain with New York Giants for 2022 Season

Blake Martinez is ready for another Giant(s) season…

The 28-year-old Mexican American professional football player, a starting middle linebacker, will return to the New York Giants for the 2022 season after agreeing to a reworked contract, according to ESPN.

Blake MartinezMartinez’s deal is similar to that of wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who also took a significant pay cut to return earlier this week.

The moves were necessary as the Giants try to get financially healthy ahead of the start of the new league year Wednesday.

New York began this offseason more than $11 million over the cap. The Giants have since shed close to $25 million after cutting tight ends Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith, running back Devontae Booker and punter Riley Dixon.

Martinez was set to make $8.525 million on the final year of his contract after tearing the ACL in his left knee last season. He would have counted $14.025 million against the salary cap. The Giants are expected to save almost $6 million by restructuring his contract.

Martinez wanted to remain in New York despite a new regime and a more uncertain future, and his restructured deal was the solution after conversations between the two sides throughout the week.

He had signed a three-year deal for $30 million in the 2020 offseason. The contract was restructured for cap purposes last season to move $3.5 million of dead money into this year. That made the contract in its previous form difficult for the Giants to carry. But that all came under the previous regime, with Patrick Graham as the defensive coordinator. Martinez and Graham had a good relationship, having worked together previously in Green Bay.

Martinez’s first season with the Giants was perhaps the best of his career. He had 140 tackles, 3 sacks, 5 passes defended, an interception and 2 forced fumbles. It was his fourth straight season with 130 or more tackles.

Martinez has played six seasons with the Giants and Green Bay Packers. He has started 76 of 80 career games.

Victor Cruz to Co-Host E!’s “Pop of the Morning”

Popgoes the morning for Victor Cruz… 

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican former New York Giantswide receiver has joined E!’s morning news show Pop of the Morningas a co-host, E! has announced. 

Victor Cruz

Cruz will join the recently hired Lilliana Vazquezand Scott Tweedieon the 11:00 am weekday show.

“I’m excited for this new journey in life,” Cruz said in a statement. “I’m excited for you guys to see me in a different way.”

Cruz was an undrafted free agent in 2010 when he landed at the Giants, finishing the 2011 season with a single-season franchise record for receiving yards, and later becoming part of the Giants victory over the New England Patriotsin Super Bowl XLVI

He launched the Victor Cruz Foundationin 2014, which encourages children to become physically active, focuses on college readiness, financial literacy, and STEMprogramming.

E! News tweeted a brief video clip of Cruz announcing his new gig.

Ronald Acuna Jr. Hits Historic Homer to Earn a Place in MLB History

Ronald Acuna Jr. is making his MLB mark…

The 21-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder, who plays for the Atlanta Braves, has become only the third player in baseball history to hit 40 homers in a season at 21 years old or younger.

Ronald Acuna Jr.

Acuna’s historic homer came with a flourish in the third inning of Atlanta’s 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. He launched a 432-foot drive into the second deck at SunTrust Park, standing at home plate to admire his shot off Aaron Nola before tossing the bat away and slowly rounding the bases.

Acuna was pumped to join a very exclusive club, but even more thrilled about the Braves clinching at least a tie for first place in the National League East.

“That’s the most exciting thing up to this point,” Acuna said through a translator. “That’s what we’re all looking for. I think for all of us, it’s just come out with that same energy, that same enthusiasm, get that win and hopefully celebrate. That’s something we’re all looking forward to.”

Mel Ott, who was 20 when he hit 42 homers for the New York Giantsin 1940, was the only player younger than Acuna to post a 40-homer season. Eddie Mathewsalso was 21 but about two months older than Acuna when he hit 47 homers for the Milwaukee Bravesin 1953.

Ott and Mathews are both members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“It feels incredible,” said Acuna, who was born December 18, 1997. “To be compared to superstars and Hall of Famers like that, especially at such a young age, wow.”

Acuna had gone five games since hitting his 39th homer.

“He might relax now and really go off,” manager Brian Snitkersaid. “That’s an unbelievable accomplishment at this stage of his career.”

Acuna is still three stolen bases shy of another milestone. He has 37 steals in his quest to become just the fifth 40-40 player in baseball history, following Jose Canseco(1988), Barry Bonds(1996), Alex Rodriguez(1998) and Alfonso Soriano(2006).

Rodriguez to Host CNBC Reality TV Show About Financially Troubled Retired Athletes

Things are about to get real for Alex Rodriguez

The 41-year-old former Dominican American professional baseball star, nicknamed “A-Rod,” will host a CNBC reality television show featuring retired athletes who face financial troubles.

Alex Rodriguez

CNBC announced Tuesday that the show’s working title is “Back in the Game.” It will be co-produced by another former New York sports star, Michael Strahan.

Rodriguez played his final game with the New York Yankees last August, ending a 12-year run with New York. The Yankees will owe him $20 million in 2017, the final season of his 10-year, $275 million contract.

The Yankees announced that Rodriguez will remain with the organization as a team adviser in 2017, but the three-time American League MVP technically is a free agent and can sign with any club.

According to a CNBC release, the pilot episode of “Back in the Game” will pair former athletes “in serious financial distress with money-savvy mentors who can help them get back on their feet.”

Strahan, the Hall of Fame New York Giants defensive end, is listed as one of three executive producers for the show.

Romo to Remain on Cowboys’ Active Roster While Recovering from Back Injury

Tony Romo is staying active

The Dallas Cowboys will keep the 36-year-old Mexican American quarterback on their active roster, according to a source, in hopes that he can return sooner rather than later from a compression fracture in his back.

Tony Romo

If the Cowboys put Romo on injured reserve, he would miss at least the first eight weeks of the season, per league rules.

Rookie Dak Prescott will start in Romo’s absence, beginning with the season opener against the New York Giants.

On Sunday, the Cowboys announced the signing of veteran Mark Sanchez to be Prescott’s backup. The Cowboys made room for Sanchez on the roster by waiving Jameill Showers instead of placing Romo on injured reserve.

After Romo was hurt on August 25 against the Seattle Seahawks, sources said he would need 6-10 weeks to recover. If he returns at the early end of the timeline, he would play October 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals or October 16 against the Green Bay Packers.

The Cowboys have their bye week on October 23.

If he needs the full timeline, he would return November 6 against the Cleveland Browns. If the Cowboys had placed him on injured reserve, the first game he would be able to play would be against the Browns, but first he has to go to court to win his injury claim with the Personal Injury Lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Romo suffered a compression fracture of his L1 vertebra when he was driven into the turf by Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril during a preseason game. Romo was going into a slide when the hit occurred. He wanted to re-enter the game but the coaches held him out, and an MRI the next day revealed the fracture.

He is scheduled to be in a back brace for another week.

After the preseason finale against the Houston Texans on Thursday, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the decision on Romo could come down to one game that could make a difference in a playoff spot.

The Cowboys are crossing their fingers that Romo heals quickly.

Cruz Makes Catch in First NFL Game Appearance in Nearly Two Years

Victor Cruz is back in the game…

The 29-year-old half-Puerto Rican New York Giants wide receiver returned to game action on Saturday night after 685 days away due to injuries.

Victor Cruz

Cruz had one catch in 30 snaps in the team’s 21-20 win against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Cruz had missed most of the past two seasons with knee and calf injuries. He was also sidelined for two weeks this summer with a groin problem.

“It felt great, man, just to be with my teammates and put this 80 jersey back on and to get the love of the crowd and the people again and go out there and be in position to make a few plays as well,” he said.

Despite being on the field for all of the Giants’ first-team snaps Saturday night, Cruz was targeted twice by quarterback Eli Manning. He caught his only pass on the first play of the second half — a quick 4-yard out — against the Jets’ backups.

Cruz said he escaped the contest “unscathed.” He accomplished his two goals: getting on the field with his teammates and making an impact.

“It did, it felt like old times,” Cruz said. “I caught the ball in the flat and tried to make something happen, but I got to feel a little bit of contact, which was a great feeling.”

Cruz’s only other target came on third down early in the second quarter when he got a step on cornerback Buster Skrine deep downfield. But Manning’s pass was underthrown and too far inside, and it was almost intercepted by safety Marcus Gilchrist.

On a night when the first-team offense managed three first downs and 56 total yards in two-plus quarters, the Giants can at least take solace that Cruz held up physically in his first game since tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee on October 12, 2014.

“A big step,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “[He] got back on the field, had a chance to win on a double move. We couldn’t get the ball off cleanly and [he] caught another ball and looked comfortable and confident.”

Cruz admitted earlier in the week that this wasn’t just a normal preseason game; given his journey and struggles, it meant much more. After exiting the tunnel before the game, Cruz went to the far end zone and took a knee. After several seconds to himself, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. came over and had some words for the well-respected veteran.

Cruz then trotted to the sideline and patted his chest as the fans in the end zone cheered and chanted his name. The trademark “Cruuuuz” was back at MetLife Stadium.

“It was unreal. It kind of gave me goose bumps, especially that first walk out on the field,” Cruz said. “To have the fans do that, it was just humbling, and it really showed how much I mean to the fan base here in this tri-state area and to all Giants fans across the world how much they have anticipated this moment and how much I anticipated this moment to be back in front of them.

“And it was a pretty surreal moment for me, to say the least.”

Romo Rallies the Dallas Cowboys in Final Minutes to Beat the New York Giants

Tony Romo has a giant(s) second half to lead his team to victory…

The 34-year-old Mexican American Dallas Cowboys quarterback made critical plays in the second half to beat the New York Giants on Sunday night.

Tony Romo

Romo threw two touchdown passes to Dez Bryant, the winner from 13 yards with 1:01 remaining, lifting the Cowboys to a comeback 31-28 victory.

“You gain an understanding that you’re never really out of it,” Romo said. “You are comfortable being in uncomfortable situations. That comes from having been through it and going out and finding a way to win. Once you do that a few times, the team can believe in that.”

Romo could’ve written a book on winning drives while staging this one; he never was pressured in leading the Cowboys 80 yards to the winning score.

“Any time you’re afforded the amount of time at the end of the game, it’s huge,” he said. “They (the offensive line) are a special group of guys who work their butts off and deserve a lot of credit for this game and this season.”

Romo threw for two TDs in the third quarter and Barry Church‘s interception helped turn things around for the Cowboys. But the Giants (3-8), trailing 24-21, staged a 93-yard drive capped by Adrien Robinson‘s first career TD catch. That 1-yard score with 3 minutes remaining could’ve snapped New York’s slide that now stands at six losses.

Dallas (8-3) roared back. Romo found Bryant in the back of the end zone to win it, setting up an NFC East showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thanksgiving Day for first place.

“Now we have another challenge coming up real quick,” Romo said. “Philly is playing great football so we’re going to have to play better than we did tonight to win that game.”

Dallas, which was treated to chants of “Let’s Go Cowboys!” in the second half from hundreds of fans in Cowboys garb, is 5-0 on the road. New York was eliminated from division contention.

Romo was 18-of-26 for 275 yards and never appeared bothered by back problems that sidelined him for one of the Cowboys’ defeats this year.

Escobar Shines in the Dallas Cowboys Victory Over the New York Giants

It’s a memorable NFL Sunday for Gavin Escobar with the Sporting News asking if he could be “the Cowboys next big thing.”

The 23-year-old half-Puerto Rican professional football player – a second-year tight end for Dallas – logged the first two-touchdown game of his NFL career on Sunday in his team’s 31-21 over the New York Giants, including a spectacular grab between defenders on his second touchdown of the day.

Gavin Escobar

Escobar’s first scoring catch came in the first quarter, when he caught a 15 year pass from Tony Romo to give the Cowboys the first points of the game.

No. 89 then followed it up with his second score of the game in the third quarter with a spectacular catch in the end zone to break a 14-14 tie.

By the end of Dallas’ win, Escobar had a more impressive stat line (3 catches, 65 yards, 21.7 average, 2 TDs) than fellow tight end Jason Witten (2 catches, 27 yards, 13.5 avg., 0 TDs). Plus, Escobar was targeted three times, one more than Witten.

After the game, tight ends coach Mike Pope, fired by the Giants’ Tom Coughlin last winter, was given the game ball.

“You know he was loving this,” Escobar told reporters.

Escobar’s improved performance comes after ESPN reported that his role in the Cowboys offense was decreasing. But it looks like the second-round draft pick is stepping up his game in the face of adversity.

In the past couple weeks, Escobar has risen to the occasion in crucial moments for Romo, and has a good chance of becoming a key component of the team’s offense moving forward. He has found the end zone three times in two weeks, and clearly has the trust of Romo.

As a result, the San Diego State University product has been rewarded with more playing time by head coach Jason Garrett, and now he’s being heralded as the Cowboys next big thing.

Cruz Engaged to Longtime Girlfriend Elaina Watley

Victor Cruz is saying goodbye to bachelorhood…

The 27-year-old half-Puerto Rican New York Giants wide receiver is officially engaged to his longtime girlfriend Elaina Watley.

Victor Cruz

Cruz proposed to Watley on Sunday, July 13 in front of their family, Page Six reports. The pair’s engagement took place following a “baby dedication” ceremony for their daughter Kennedy at the Love of Jesus Family Church in Paterson, NJ.

“The ring is beautiful – it’s a round stone with a pink diamond band,” Waitley told the site. The pair admitted that they had not planned the wedding, but they wanted to tie the knot in a destination wedding or “an iconic” New York ceremony.

Cruz and Watley met in 2003 when he was a high school student. They welcomed their daughter in 2012.

Cruz and his family most recently were seen attending the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards. The footballer was honored with “Party Like a Sports Star (Best Celebration)” award at the event, which took place at the UCLA Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles last week.

Wearing an all-white outfit which consisted of jacket, T-shirt and pants, Cruz cradled his daughter when receiving the award onstage.

Cruz Signs Lucrative Five-Year Contract Extension with the New York Giants

Victor Cruz has landed a giant-sized contract extension with the New York Giants

The pro football team has signed the 26-year-old half-Puerto Rican Giants wide receiver to a five-year, $45.879 million contract extension.

Victor Cruz

“I feel relief,” said Cruz, who is known for his salsa-dancing touchdown celebrations. “I feel I can just kick back and play football again.”

Contract negotiations between the team and Cruz reportedly dragged on for months, with both parties appearing far apart at several junctures.

The deal includes $15.6 million in guaranteed money, reported.

“This is just another step to getting where I want to be at the end of my career,” said Cruz, who was one of the top receivers in the NFL the past two seasons, catching 168 passes for 2,628 yards, a 15.6-yard average, with 19 touchdowns.


Cruz started all 16 games in the 2012 season and led the Giants with 86 receptions for 1,092 yards, with 10 TDs.

“I love to do well for my team and do well each and every year and continue to prove myself and not feel complacent and not feel I’ve done enough. I want to continue to have catches and yards and touchdowns and help my team win and get to the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl,” said Cruz.

Cruz has gone from a virtual unknown to NFL star in the league’s biggest market in just three years.

The wide receiver, who signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Massachusetts in 2010, has been one of the NFL’s feel-good stories the past two years.

“We are pleased to have this behind us,” Giants general manager Jerry Reese said. “Now Victor can focus on football. Training camp is approaching quickly, and we all have a lot of work to do to get back where we want to be.”