New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz had the type of year that athletes dream about. It was not a story that many surrounding the business of football could have ever imagined. Cruz, undrafted in 2010 after graduating from the University of Massachusetts, broke the former New York Giants single-season receiving yards record, racking up a total of 1,536 in 2011. His stellar 2011 campaign, which included leading the New York Giants to a Super Bowl victory, caught everyone’s attention, including many NFLPA Contract Advisors who may have glossed over him when he was departing UMass.
Cruz’s first agent was Abu Toppin of Reliance Sports Management (RSM). Toppin was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, which is also the home of his agency. It is likely that Toppin used his location to his advantage when recruiting Cruz to become a client. Unfortunately for Toppin, the relationship was short-lived.
This year, Cruz fired RSM and only recently hired a new agent – Malik Shareef of Roanoke, Virginia. Shareef jumped onto the scene when he signed former University of Florida and current Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden. Not bad when your first NFL client just happens to be the #7 overall pick in the NFL Draft. However, Shareef and Haden parted ways; Haden has since signed with Drew Rosenhaus. Shareef also represents 2011 NFL Draft picks Ryan Williams (#38 overall taken by the Arizona Cardinals) and Rashad Carmichael (#127 overall taken by the Houston Texans). But the biggest name Shareef client is now undoubtedly Victor Cruz.
Shareef will strictly be Cruz’s NFLPA Contract Advisor. Cruz has retained IMG Worldwide to handle his off-the-field opportunities.