The 2016 New York Giants were desperate for some offensive production last season and that spark on offense never came.
This past offseason the team cut longtime receiver Victor Cruz and Cruz believes the New York Giants intentionally limited his opportunities in 2016 so they could easily cut the 7-year veteran.
During an interview with “The Breakfast Club” on Tuesday, Cruz who recorded 39 catches for 586 yards and one touchdown last season had this to say about his release:
According to Dan Duggan of NJ.com, Cruz played 90 percent of the offensive snaps and had 25 catches on 42 targets for 377 yards and one touchdown in the first eight games of last season. He played 57 percent of the snaps and had 14 catches on 30 targets for 209 yards and no touchdowns in the second half of the season. He missed the Giants’ Week 10 game with a sprained ankle:
“A lot of people probably don’t know this: Let’s say I played well, was a 1,000-yard receiver last year, it would have been more difficult from a fan perspective to cut me. If I’m a 1,000-yard guy, they’re like ‘Why are you cutting Cruz? He just had 1,000 yards and had five or six touchdowns. That doesn’t make sense.’ But if I have 500 yards or whatever the case may be, it’s a little easier on the fans to be like, ‘Oh, he didn’t play well, so that’s why the cut him.’ And if I played well, they owed me a ton of money that next year so it was like, ‘Let’s get Cruz off the books.”
A host then said, “That would explain why you were open so much and weren’t getting the ball.” Cruz replied, “I’m glad you said that.”
Then something even more bizarre happened, another host asked if a quarterback would make himself look bad by not throwing to an open receiver.
Cruz didn’t exactly shut that theory down:
“It’s hard to believe, even just to think about someone coming up to the quarterback and saying ‘Hey, don’t throw it here’ or ‘Don’t give it to this guy’ — it’s hard to even fathom that thought. Which I don’t even know or think happens. I doubt it. But when you look at the film and you look at how it goes down, that’s the only way.”
The theory that the Giants were intentionally conspiring against Cruz is hard to buy considering the team stuck by him through his knee injury — an injury that caused Cruz to nearly two years of football. Cruz took a pay cut before last season, but the Giants just simply cut ties with the receiver.
It doesn’t seem like other teams are buying Cruz’s theory, considering he’s still a free agent. He has visited the Panthers, Bears and Jaguars but has yet to be signed. He stated he’s heard through his sources that one team had concerns about his commitment to football.
This is the second time in three weeks that Cruz has made questionable comments regarding the Giants. He said quarterback Eli Manning needs to “own up” to an email regarding potentially fraudulent game worn equipment. Cruz later claimed the comments were taken out of context.
Here’s Cruz’s full interview with “The Breakfast Club”: