Will Victor Cruz remain a New York Giant?
No one knows for sure, but what I do know is that it will remain the biggest question from today throughout the off-season. There is no doubt that his overall performance was average in 2016 collecting 39 catches for 586 yards.
The Milwaukee Journal published a review of tomorrow’s playoff game against Green Bay and quoting an anonymous scout the reviews on Cruz speed and ability to separate were not kind.
What I find interesting, looking back at the pre season reviews for Cruz, no expected a 1000 yards. Most writers and bloggers were predicting 60 to 70 catches for 700 to 800 yards. Those numbers are in reach if Cruz is playing in his normal slot position. Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham have played most of the year on the inside, pushing Cruz outside. Yes, the injuries have taken acceleration out of Cruz, however there are plenty of receivers that make a living on the numbers and in the seam.
Earlier this week NYGiantsRush.com was at a player event in New Jersey and the opinion was that Cruz was done as a New York Giant. Which brings us to this question. Is the team better without Cruz and does the team trust Tavarres King and Roger Lewis to replay No. 80. The Giants undoubtedly will not draft the 6’2 or 6’3 red zone receiver that is needed. Jerell Adams the 6’6″ Tight End is barely used and the team will need to concentrate replacing Newhouse, and John Jerry.
The article from the Journal mentions Cruz has lost his legs. However, I remember when former Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks lost his legs it was extremely noticeable as an outside receiver. Cruz is not far behind. He still can make great catches along the sideline, but an inaccurate Quarterback and lack of speed hurts Cruz. Sterling Shepard, like Steve Smith Sr. could play on the outside, moving Cruz back inside.
Tavarres King who had a great pre-season seems buried on the bench and has played on 5 teams since 2013. Roger Lewis has been attached to some controversy as a young high school player. In 2012 when he charged with two counts of rape, the jury acquitted Lewis on the first charge and the second charge was dismissed. He has 71 receiving yards.
Cruz brings a different type of swagger to this team and is beloved by fans everywhere. The 2016 season screams inconsistencies. It makes sense that Cruz has lost a step battling back from one of the worst knee injuries a receiver could have. He is still be misused. Look up “patella injury NFL player”. The search is dominant by Victor Cruz’s name. Many just don’t make it back.
While his cap number is tolerable, you wonder how Jerry Reese will look at the situation. Reese’s ego is exploding right now with talk of “Executive of the Year”. Yes, it’s hard to find talent with 200 million dollars. Ugh! If this is to be the last chapter for Victor Cruz as a New York Giant, I hope Eli Manning recognizes that No. 80 made Eli look damn good for years and get him the ball come Sunday.