The Giants’ great season came to an end Sunday after falling to the Green Bay Packers 38-13 in the wild card game. The loss could also be Victor Cruz’s last game as a New York Giant.
Before there was Odell Beckham Jr. it was Victor Cruz who was the main target in the Giants’ offense. The undrafted free agent from Paterson, New Jersey got a shot with the hometown New York Giants. Cruz came onto the scene in 2010 in a preseason game against the New York Jets and since then his stardom rose. Cruz quickly became a fan favorite amongst Giant fans with his trademark salsa touchdown celebrations and also helping the Giants win a Super Bowl in 2011.
There has also been some tough times that Cruz went through as a member of the Giants. In 2014, Cruz suffered a devastating knee injury early in the season which forced him to miss the rest of the 2014 season. In 2015, Cruz required calf surgery that sidelined him for the season. After rehabbing and doing everything to get back onto the field, he finally did so but it came with a steep pay cut. Cruz took a $5.6 million pay cut going from $8 million to $2.4 million to remain as a member of the Giants. In his comeback season Cruz played in 15 games and had 39 catches for 586 yards and one touchdown.
It was clear from early in the season that Cruz’s role in the offense was diminishing. With Odell Beckham Jr. being Eli Manning’s go to receiver and the emergence of rookie Sterling Shepard, Cruz’s targets were limited. Cruz, however, is still under contract for the next two seasons but at a high cost. Cruz now 30 years old has a base salary of $6.4 million for the 2017 season and $7.4 for the 2018 season. That price will likely be too high for the New York Giants and that is why there has been speculation and uncertainty with Cruz’s future with the team.
Following the loss to the Packers, Cruz said “This is family. This is home. I don’t know anywhere else, I don’t want to know anywhere else.” There’s no question that Cruz would love to remain a Giant but he will need to take another steep pay cut if he wants to put the No. 80 on again. If in fact Sunday was Victor Cruz’s final game as a member of the Giants, he finished with 303 receptions 4,549 yards and 25 touchdowns.
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