Victor Cruz, The New York Giants’ wide receiver known for his celebration touchdown dance, the salsa, has been released as of February 13, 2017.
Junior Amanda Laezza said, “It is truly hard to see him go, speaking from a family of Giants fans whose favorite player was Cruz since 2011. I hope he has a good future outside of the Giants and still plays the Victor Cruz football we all love to watch.”
Born and raised in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, Cruz joined the Giants as an un-drafted free agent out of Massachusetts in 2010. Almost a year later, he became a fan favorite because of his local ties, love for his family, huge contribution to the success of the New York Giants, and signature salsa-dancing touchdown celebrations that always kept the crowd roaring.
Cruz contributed huge numbers for the Giants in both the 2011 and 2012 season. In 2011, he caught 82 passes for 1,536 yards and had nine touchdowns. He was a big part in helping the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 against the New England Patriots. He followed that up with 86 receptions for 1,092 yards in 2012. He also had 10 touchdowns and was recognized in the Pro Bowl.
Cruz’s most popular football years were 2011, 2012 and 2013. Combined in those three seasons, Cruz recorded a total of 46 games with 241 receptions accounting for 3,626 total yards in three seasons.
Cruz had many injuries that set him back from playing his best football. On October 12, 2014, Cruz suffered a season-ending patellar tendon tear. This required Cruz to go through intense surgeries and years of physical therapy to regain full knee function, leaving him benched for the entire 2015 season.
After missing the better part of two seasons, Cruz caught a touchdown pass during a Week 1 win at Dallas. This was an important moment for him and all Giants fans, signaling that he was playing again after a long period of surgery and rehab.
During Cruz’s 2016 return, he caught 39 passes for 586 yards and one touchdown. Unfortunately, injury was still a factor in his returning season. After suffering an ankle injury during the 28-23 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on November 6, 2016, Cruz was carted off the field and brought into the locker room for an x-ray.
With young wide receiver prospects Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard becoming the focal points of the Giants’ passing game, Cruz eventually grew frustrated with his diminishing role.
After returning from the ankle injury, Cruz was not targeted at all during the Giants vs Steelers game in Week 12. When Cruz spoke to reporters, he said, “I’m going to talk to somebody. Somebody’s got to give me an answer as to why.”
The 30-year-old offensive veteran Cruz had two years left on his contract and was due to receive $9.4 million. His release will save the Giants $7.5 million in their cap.
Junior Leah Farina said, “I am very upset that Cruz is leaving the Giants, he has always been my favorite player and it is going to be hard for me to watch him on a different team, but I do wish him the best.”