In his seven seasons with the New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has climbed a mountain top and fallen to the deepest valley. The narrative of Victor Cruz is a tale of an underdog similar to Rocky Balboa as Cruz started his career as an undrafted free agent from the University of Massachusetts. There were very little expectations when Cruz joined up with Big Blue but he made his presence felt during the early stages of the 2011 season.
Cruz started to become a media sensation for in 2011 for two reasons. The first reason was the little-known Cruz because a household name because of his play on the field. In 2011 Cruz had 82 catches for 1536 yards and 9 touchdowns including an electrifying 99-yard touchdown catch against the New York Jets on Christmas Eve. The second reason why Cruz became so popular was his touchdown celebration where Cruz would do the Salsa after every touchdown he had. Some might even believe that Victor Cruz invented the Salsa but Cruz brought the Salsa back into pop culture.
The meteoric rise of Victor Cruz was not finished after the 2011 regular season as Cruz was an integral part in the Giants 2011 Super Bowl run. The man who very few knew about in August of 2011 caught a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl and was able to claim a Super Bowl ring when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots XLVI
In 2012 and 2013 Cruz proved he was not a one-hit wonder with Cruz being selected to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and was 2 yards shy of a third season of being a 1000-yard receiver in 2013. While Cruz proved his worth the Giants were unable to make the playoffs in both of those seasons.
Yet one play in Philadelphia in 2014 would be a turning point in Victor Cruz’s career. On a 4th and goal Cruz went to catch an Eli Manning pass in the corner of the end zone but on that play Victor Cruz would tear his patellar tendon and put an end to Cruz’s 2014 campaign. And while there was anticipation for a Cruz return in 2015 that return did not happen as a calf injury kept Cruz sidelined.
Finally, in 2016 Cruz returned to the Giants but the receiver core dynamic had been altered. Since Cruz’s injury Odell Beckham Jr. had risen to superstardom and Sterling Shepard was drafted to make an impact at wide receiver. Cruz in 2016 was able to stay healthy but his role in the offense has been changed as a Cruz who once had 86 catches in 2012 only had 72 targets in 2016.
In the offseason, Jerry Reese, will have to make a decision to either bring back Victor Cruz or have Cruz leave the only NFL franchise Cruz has known. Giants fans will always have a strong bond with Cruz because of how Cruz played at his best and Cruz’s charisma off the field. Whenever Cruz, home or away, make a catch you can hear the crowd calling out his name. But in 2017 can Cruz help the Giants be a winning team? That is the sole questions that should determine if Cruz is still playing for the Giants or seeking employment elsewhere.