Although his breakout was short-lived, you seemingly couldn’t go anywhere in 2011-12 without seeing Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, whose enormous season in 2011 propelled him to stardom.
Cruz was simply very good in 2012, then solid in 2013, then injured in 2014 and 2015, and merely serviceable in 2016.
And now he’s a free agent.
The Giants today cut Cruz loose, absorbing a nearly $2-million cap hit on the 30-year-old wide receiver, who was due a $1 million roster bonus in March, and was otherwise set to cost the Giants $9.4 million against the cap in 2017.
Given the descent of his last few years, it’s doubtful that Cruz has any impact seasons left in him, but he could still contribute periodically in a slot role. Pro Football Focus ranked Cruz as the 99th receiver of 115 qualifiers, with a career-worst grade of 53.9. Four Bears – including Cameron Meredith, Deonte Thompson, and Eddie Royal – finished with higher grades than Cruz in 2016.
Without that No. 1 receiver type ability, his presence on the market probably will not have any impact on Alshon Jeffery, on whom the Bears must make a franchise tag decision very soon.
We’ll see more turnover like this in the coming weeks as the full free agent class comes into picture.