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Salsa No More

The Giants released Victor Cruz today.

It was not unexpected. Cruz missed the last two seasons with injuries, and this season, when he finally came back, he had a subpar year. Only 35 catches, way down for him. He had a very high salary number for next year, too high for a third receiver, and by cutting him the Giants saved $7.5 million against the salary cap, money they can now use to improve elsewhere. And they really need to improve elsewhere -- on the offensive line and at tight end, especially -- if they hope to advance further in the playoffs than they did this season.

All the same, the release made me sad. Victor Cruz was my favorite player, and I was hoping he would retire as a Giant. I think Victor was hoping the same. He seemed not only to be a terrific player, but a terrific guy, an undrafted free agent who walked on and made it big.

If it had been up to me, I would have stayed the course and kept Cruz. Ask him to take a salary cut, sure. I think he would have done that. Next year, I would have moved him back to the slot, his best position. He was just not as effective last season playing outside the numbers. And while the rookie Sterling Shepard was a good slot receiver last season, Cruz in his prime was a GREAT slot receiver, one of the best in the league. If the Giants had kept Victor in the slot, and played Shepard outside, both of them might have had better years.

One mediocre year and two years on injured reserve can make us forget -- especially since Odell Beckham Junior has been dazzling Giants fans with spectacular catches during those same three seasons -- just how good Victor Cruz was before his injury. When he was good, he was very very good, as the saying goes. Here, take a look, remember:


We'll miss the salsas...

Good luck, Victor. You earned it.



Feb. 15th, 2017 02:37 am (UTC)
I was hoping that said, "The Senate released Ted Cruz today."
Williamjames Hoffer
Feb. 15th, 2017 03:38 am (UTC)
Short NFL Memories
There is always some concern in the sellsword world of the NFL that an injured player will come back and be as good as he was. Although I for one am an atheist, I believe in the Campbell's soup curse and was sad the moment I saw him in one. Cruz, I am sure, will do well elsewhere. If not, that is good too considering CTE etc. I wish him the best regardless.
Timmy Walsh
Feb. 15th, 2017 05:03 am (UTC)
Respect for Victor Cruz.
As an Eagles fan, I can tell you that I'm actually very relieved he isn't a Giant anymore. Not because of any hatred that he was a Giant, but mainly because he KILLED the Eagles. Every time they needed a big play, this guy would salsa his way to the end zone.

The Eagles don't have the WR's to even compete in this league, so even if her were to join the Eagles, we already have Jordan Matthews as a reliable slot receiver. Still, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and would love to see this guy join the Eagles.
Feb. 15th, 2017 03:32 pm (UTC)
Cruz & Shep
While I too was saddened by the news I think it makes sense. Cruz's injury history just worries me too much to commit any amount of time or money to him. Best to cut him after he had a full/healthy season so he can at least hope to get a job elsewhere.

Edited at 2017-02-15 03:36 pm (UTC)
Peter Davies
Feb. 15th, 2017 03:58 pm (UTC)
I wish nothing but good things for Victor Cruz's future. He always came across as such a kind-hearted, friendly and decent man. Not only a wonderful player but a wonderful person too, and when I see someone with that combination of qualities, I can't help becoming a big fan, regardless of which team they play for.

Good luck Victor, wherever you go. I'll always be a fan!
Alp Uygan
Feb. 15th, 2017 04:18 pm (UTC)
Cruz was my favorite Giant as well. Very sad to see him go. Hopefully Shepard turns it up a notch and we sign or draft a good receiving tight end (Martellus Bennet from the Patriots or OJ Howard from Alabama) and improve the offensive line so Eli actually has time to work out of the pocket. With the defense we have, we aren't really far from competing for our fifth Super Bowl.
Feb. 15th, 2017 05:32 pm (UTC)
Its a Business
As always they will tell us its Business - and loyalty has no place...

But its great when this turns out wrong, the Rams dumped Kurt Warner after he was injured following a Super Bowl win and he ended up dragging Arizona to the Bowl and damn near winning it (he also just made the Hall of Fame).

Football is a game of emotion where leaders count (just ask the Falcons). Fatigue makes cowards of us all (as Vince Lombardi pointed out) and to rise above it in the face of seemingly hopeless adversity takes heart (and sole). Cruz had it as do most undrafted players who, against expectations, succeed - they have something you can't measure.

Its also why, in muscle powered battles, outnumbered armies can still prevail over apparently hopless odds (see for instance much of the Hundred Years War) - OK that's my Ice and Fire reference.

Lets make 2017 great again...Trump wins; Falcons lose - its just has to great better.


Feb. 15th, 2017 10:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Its a Business
man we waited so long to see vic and obj take on the the nfl together and now that dream has come to an end... i share the sadness with you my Mr Martin.
to me it was a head scratcher signing shep to begin with if vic was ready to play. reese should have drafted a different kind of wr but at the same token
most organizations would have let cruz go long before ny did imo (am i wrong here)
i had the pleasure of seeing many wr's play for ny baker,mcaffery,ike,toomer(my fav) & plax not to mention the most recent and best ever obj but none as fun to watch and cheer for then victor cruz! they way he sparked our team that lead to a super bowl victory i will be forever grateful for... but i share your pain. i will surly miss the slasa dance in the endzone! how i would love to see it one more time!
Feb. 15th, 2017 09:24 pm (UTC)
Awfully silent on Evil Bill
Maybe the Super Bowl champions will pick him up.
Robert Sloan
Feb. 15th, 2017 09:37 pm (UTC)
Cruzin' down the highway
Amen to that, George. I hope Victor ends up doing the salsa somewhere, as long as he doesn't keep the Giants out of the playoffs doing it.
Phil Jonasson
Feb. 16th, 2017 12:05 am (UTC)
Hes a great player, but obviously his injuries in the last 2 seasons, and the millions he was set to make next year are the contributing factors. I read a decent article predicting that the Giants will try to re-sign him at a more reasonable price.
I'm sure Eli would love to have him back next year, too!
Phil Jonasson
Feb. 17th, 2017 11:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Cruz
As an amendment to my prior post, it looks like the Giants may be making room for Adrian Peterson, based on the most current rumours, and his most recent tweet about the Giants making interesting moves.

Apparently, the Vikes are going to be moving on from the 32 year old RB, if the rumours are to be believed. That'd be a very interesting pick up for an offense that could use a boost at RB, especially with OBJ and Sterling Shepard as promising prospects. Things are looking up for the G men in 2017!
Feb. 18th, 2017 05:51 am (UTC)
Re: Cruz
Maybe. But Peterson is old, and has been injured. I am not sure he is still what he once was.

Also, the Giants have serious problems on the offensive line, which will limit any RB, no matter how talented. They really need Ereck Flowers to start playing up to his potential, and to add at least one more stud on the line.

Peter Wader
Feb. 16th, 2017 01:03 am (UTC)
Going to miss the guy
I remember the last Giants SB season and how great Cruz was during that season. Two games stick out that season, the first was vs the Eagles and their stud CB Nnamdi Asomugha and Cruz was supposed to be some scrub...Instead Cruz embarrassed the best CB in the NFL and was off to the races.

In the second game the Jets were just killing the Giants and they had Eli backed up to his goaline...then Eli threw a short slant and Cruz just took it all the way for a TD. The Giants would not lose another game and would win their second SB. It was a glorious time. I hope Cruz can get that glory again(as long as its not the Cowboys or Patriots).
Feb. 16th, 2017 01:35 am (UTC)
He was a champion and a mensch. We will not see his like again.
Carey Wilson
Feb. 16th, 2017 03:35 am (UTC)
Maybe the Bengals can pick him up for a reasonable price. A skilled slot receiver would really help AJ Green on the outside and Tyler Eifert at TE!

Edited at 2017-02-16 03:38 am (UTC)
Feb. 16th, 2017 04:35 am (UTC)
Where will he end up?
This is my first ever post here. I think a Ventern coming back from injury needs a team where he will have a lot of eyes on him and will be willing to sign him to a team friendly deal..... The New England Patriots!
Feb. 16th, 2017 04:44 am (UTC)
Having a favorite team and a favorite player on that team at the same time is dangerous, and almost never ends well. I learned that lesson all the way back when I was young and dazzled by the Montana to Rice connection.
Feb. 16th, 2017 05:48 am (UTC)
Sad to see him go.
Even though I'm a huge Pats fan, I always respected Cruz. He was good guy, on and off the field, and was one hell of a competitor. I also think they'll start to look for a way to get rid of Eli too. Which I also think is the right move.

Edited at 2017-02-16 05:51 am (UTC)
Feb. 16th, 2017 03:44 pm (UTC)

I moved to my city about two years ago. I wasn't really interested in sports until lately. I like the feeling when my home team wins a game.

Dan Mcreedeez
Feb. 16th, 2017 07:42 pm (UTC)
I'm an Eagles fan, but I always had a lot of respect for Cruz. And when he went down in the endzone against us in 2014, I got nauseous. That dude always played the game right. Never shied away from contact and wasn't a flag-begging-DIVA or locker-room-cancer. I know you'll hate this, but seeing as we don't have any Wide Receivers, I certainly hope my Birds scoop him up in the offseason.
Feb. 17th, 2017 12:19 am (UTC)
Patriots will sign him
for a bag of chips. ;-) no words on the Superbowl? is it the New Yoeker in you or also isnt evil lil bill the perfect headcoach? payers seem to like him, everything is focused on the job AND he handels the other part which is THE CAP pretty well.
Feb. 17th, 2017 12:43 am (UTC)
Perhaps you'll get some salsa verde, George.
Sean Hall
Feb. 17th, 2017 11:10 pm (UTC)
Romo to the Jets
As we all know, you (understandably) absolutely hate the Cowboys. BUT there have been a couple rumors of him possibly ending up on the Jets. Just wondering how you'd feel if the player you've actively rooted against for a decade was suddenly leading one of your favorite teams.

I know you've stated somewhere on one of your recent posts that you don't think he's a clutch player but I've always found arguments like that ridiculous. He's tied for 14th all-time for most 4th quarter comebacks ever. The only real argument you can make against Romo is that you're taking a risk on his health. But if he is 100% healthy, you're going to get a great season out of him.

Edited at 2017-02-17 11:11 pm (UTC)
Feb. 18th, 2017 05:55 am (UTC)
Re: Romo to the Jets
He's been broken too often. The odds of him surviving an entire season are not good.

And piling up fourth quarter comebacks is fine, but he's come up short in most of the really big games of his career. C'mon, if you're a Cowboys fan you have suffered through most of them.

The Jets have a long history of picking up old stars at or near the end of their careers. Maybe they get a good year, maybe not, but in the long run it never works. Santonio Holmes. Ronnie Lott. Braylon Edwards. LaDamian Tomlinson. Brett Favre. The list is long.
Feb. 18th, 2017 02:29 pm (UTC)
Cruz still has a ton of talent, but it was probably the right call by the Giants. It will be interesting to see where he lands and what kind of season he can put together next year as the Pats march towards their next title.
Feb. 21st, 2017 08:17 pm (UTC)
Cruz Documentary
I'm sure you've seen it, if not HBO (I think it was them) ran a documentary about Cruz and his attempts to comeback last year about this time. Not a Giants fan at all, but I did like Cruz as a player. Worth watching. He came across as a really nice guy.
Feb. 21st, 2017 09:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Cruz Documentary
Yes, that was a terrific feature. Cruz really was a fairytale rags-to-riches story. I only wish it had a better ending.

Feb. 22nd, 2017 09:01 pm (UTC)
No loyalty. Reminds me of the Patriots!

Edited at 2017-02-22 09:14 pm (UTC)


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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