The Victor Cruz Era Comes to an End as New York Giants Cut Fan Favorite Wide Receiver
Victor Cruz may have danced his last salsa with the New York Giants as the team cut the wide receiver Monday. While the move frees up nearly $10 million against the salary cap, the Giants lose a fan-favorite receiver, as the 2010 undrafted free agent turned into a star over his years with the team.
“Victor is one of the great stories of the National Football League,” said general manager Jerry Reese. “He came in here and earned everything that he’s gotten. It has been amazing to see him grow from an undrafted free agent to a Pro Bowl player and one of our go-to guys during the Super Bowl XLVI run. He will always be one of the great Giants.”
Cruz caught the eyes of Giants fans and the rest of the NFL with three touchdowns in a 2010 preseason matchup with the New York Jets. From there, Cruz continued to play at the highest level, finishing with over 1,500 yards in 2011, helping lead the Giants to their second Super Bowl championship in four years.
While many people were looking forward to watching the older Cruz play alongside the young superstar Odell Beckham Jr., a torn patellar tendon back in October 2014 cost Cruz the rest of that season and the entire 2015 season. Cruz had a decent season in 2016; however, the Giants were unwilling to restructure his contract, opting instead to move on to younger receivers.
Nonetheless, the fans will miss Cruz, and Cruz will miss the fans.
“I pretty much grew up in front of the eyes of this entire organization,” said Cruz. “The Giants fan base, the community, my hometown, my family. I grew up there. It’s very much a family atmosphere, and it’s very much like leaving your family. That’s what it feels like. I did some great things there.”
Cruz, 30, doesn’t plan to retire yet, but it is unclear how much he expects or if many teams will show interest come free agency.
“I think I have a lot of good football left ahead of me,” said Cruz. “I think there is still a lot of miles left on this body. I’ll definitely be searching and looking for work as the time comes.”
Should he be willing to take a pay cut, Cruz would be a well-received locker room leader on many rosters.