What Should the Giants do with Victor Cruz?
Over the off-season the Giants have to face many problems with the current roster. GM, Jerry Reese has many holes to fill on the defense and even though the offensive line played better than expected this year, quality bodies will be needed at right Tackle and Guard.
One major question mark is how to handle former superstar receiver Victor Cruz.
Cruz was once a fan-favorite in New York, but after holding out for a new contract coupled with not being able to take the field since week 6 of the 2014 season, a lot of Giants fans have a sour taste in their mouth when talking about Cruz. In 2016 Cruz is slated to make $8 million. $8 million is a lot of money for a player who, at the start of next season, hasn’t played a snap in almost two years. It wasn’t like Cruz was on pace for a huge season before his injury, either. In the six games he played in 2014, Cruz had 23 receptions on 41 targets and only one touchdown.
So, despite the fond memories, especially from the 2011 Super Bowl run, it seems like quite the gamble to hold on to an expensive, injury plagued, and possibly washed up receiver. However, if anyone can make it back it will be Cruz. His work ethic has never been doubted, but something has to give. The Giants save $6.1 million in cap space if Cruz is cut and we all know that the Giants are going to need to spend if they want to contend this year.
However, the Giants do need another receiver to compliment Odell Beckham Jr. With the exception of breakout rookie tight end Will Tye, the rest of Big Blue’s receiving core was inconsistent. While players like Rueben Randle show flashes of great ability, he will still have games where he will disappear in a big way. Odell won’t be able to carry the Giants receiving core forever as he faces more double teams.
I don’t think keeping Cruz is a smart move. Cutting him and saving the cap space is a better call, but only if we go after a receiver in free agency. Reese needs to get after it this off-season, especially since Mara spared him his job. Who would the Giants go after?
If the Bears choose not to franchise their 6’ 3” wide out than Reese has to make him an offer. Yes, I understand Jeffery was hurt and only played 9 games for Chicago this year but that is much less of a risk than going with Cruz who hasn’t played in two years. A receiver like Alshon Jeffery would give Eli a target similar to the one he had with Hakeem Nicks during his prime, only taller. Not to mention Jeffery is only 25 years old and has put up incredible numbers when healthy. Their will be other free agent options once the market hits, but why not aim high right now and hope for a guy like Alshon Jeffery.
If Cruz wants to remain with the Giants, he will mostly likely be forced to restructure anyway. Keeping Cruz and signing Jeffrey would be ideal for Beckham as Randle is told to hit the bricks.
By Tom Peticca | contributor