New York’s pride and joy will be moving on after six years with the Giants. Although fans somewhat anticipated Victor Cruz's release, the decision left a lingering sadness. Known for his signature salsa dance after touchdowns, Cruz was the heart of MetLife Stadium.
His tenure with the Giants will always be marked by his contribution to winning another Super Bowl title, but this year was also a spectacle. Cruz’s comeback is one of the greatest stories in football history, rooted behind an entire city who never doubted his resilience. After suffering a torn patellar tendon in 2014, it took two years to fully recover. Cruz always reiterated the fact that returning was a priority, and this year, he delivered.
In the Giants’ first game of the season, the 30-year-old WR looked like himself again. It could not have been scripted any better; Cruz scored the game-winning touchdown and capped off the victory with a salsa in the end zone. The pace slowed down as Cruz finished the 2016 season with 39 receptions, 586 receiving yards, and one touchdown. Fans have to wonder what would have been if he was never injured, but this guy made an unbelievable comeback and he did it with humility.
As a fan, Cruz is a dream. He’s hard working, personable, and has an edge. However, once you process the emotion, it’s impossible to ignore the practicality of the decision. With Shepard making a big impact as a rookie and OBJ as an irreplaceable key to the Giants’ success, it seemed like Cruz was out of place on the field. The Giants will need to find a taller, more physical receiver to fit Ben McAdoo ideal offense. His release means that the Giants are saving $7.5 million in cap space, a price they could not afford to pay for a guy who was relatively quiet this season.