Show me the appreciation!
It lacks the same ring as “Show me the money!” — made famous by Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in “Jerry Maguire” — but it’s how Giants safety Logan Ryan felt when signing a three-year, $31 million contract extension on Christmas morning. Ryan has played in 15 career playoff games and won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans but …
“I haven’t always felt appreciated by the organization for whatever I did that year,” Ryan said Sunday after making eight tackles and recovering a fumble in a 27-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. “I think the Giants really appreciate me for not even just being the player I am on the field, but I think they appreciate what I bring off the field.
“I think they appreciate what I do in the community, I think they appreciate my wife and I — our family, our struggles, our successes — and I think they appreciate the leadership I bring to the team. That feeling of appreciation is what we all look for in life regardless of money, and that’s something I felt was special here and something I wanted to continue to feel. And I wanted to pay that back to the organization by committing here as long as I did.”
Of course, money doesn’t hurt. Ryan will make about the same $10 million per year average salary as a 30-year-old safety that he received as a 26-year-old cornerback leaving the Patriots for the Titans. It’s the threshold he was targeting in free agency last offseason but couldn’t get from any team — before changing agents and settling for half that much by signing with the Giants after training camp.
Only 11 other NFL safeties average at least $10 million per year.
The Giants didn’t want to lose the New Jersey native — a valuable voice disseminating messages from coach Joe Judge in the locker room, the key cog in coordinator Patrick Graham’s disguised secondary schemes and the embodiment of franchise values desired by ownership. So they risked negotiating against themselves before seeing the market value established in March.
“It got done fairly quickly,” Ryan said. “The organization asked me if I wanted to be here. I said yes. I think it was a good deal for both sides.”
Ryan has missed the playoffs only once in his eight-year career, and this is his first time on a team with a losing record since his freshman season at Rutgers in 2010.
“Rocky road there not being signed for a minute, but I found a newfound belief in myself as a player, as a leader, and I believe the organization believed in me as well,” Ryan said. “I wouldn’t sign a deal two weeks before free agency if I didn’t believe in this organization. I believe in the culture set. I believe in the work ethic we put in each and every day.”
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