The New York Giants have a critical decision to make about Victor Cruz’s future with the team. Cruz weighed in on that possibility.
Victor Cruz has spent the entirety of his NFL career with the New York Giants. He’s helped the Giants win a Super Bowl, set team records, and solidified his place as one of the best wide receivers in the history of the organization.
Unfortunately, Cruz’s tenure with the Giants could be coming to an end during the 2017 NFL offseason.
Cruz is due a base salary of $6.4 million during the 2017 season with a cap hit of $9.4 million. That’s quite the lofty price tag for a player whom the Giants may determine is no longer meeting the requirements of a $9.4 million price tag.
According to Paul Schwartz of The New York Post, Cruz feels as though the he proved he can still make plays when the ball is thrown his way.
"“I do feel in limited time and limited targets and reps and snaps I’ve done a good job of showing I can make plays and showing I can do some things on the field. Definitely I use it as kind of a baseline to go upward and onward.’’"
There’s no denying that when Cruz has the ball in his hands, he can make big plays on a rather consistent basis.
Cruz finished the 2016 NFL regular season with 39 receptions for 586 yards and one touchdown in 15 games played. That translates an average of 15.0 yards per reception—his best mark since he averaged 18.7 yards per reception in 2011.
Cruz isn’t exactly sure-handed, but he’s still a big play waiting to happen—a reason for all 32 NFL teams to have interest.
The biggest issue for Cruz moving forward may be the reality that the Giants no longer need him in the slot. New York drafted Sterling Shepard to be the new slot receiver—a gamble that produced intriguing results in 2016.
Shepard finished his rookie season with 65 receptions for 683 yards and eight touchdowns.
With Shepard emerging as the Giants’ featured slot receiver, Cruz will have to play more outside. That isn’t necessarily a death sentence for his career, but a change of position at 30 years of age is far from ideal.
Cruz is aware of his situation and acknowledged that an opportunity to play in the slot would be ideal at this stage of his career.
"“You got to take it as it comes, eat the food that’s given to you and see how it tastes. Obviously playing the slot is something I’m best at and an opportunity to do that would definitely be great.”"
Sadly, signs are pointing towards Cruz moving on to play for another team in 2017.
No matter where Victor Cruz plays next season, he deserves Big Blue’s respect for his contributions to the New York Giants.