Giants veteran WR Victor Cruz made it clear he’s hoping to return to the team for the 2017 season.
“Absolutely,” Cruz said. “This is family. This is home. I don’t know anywhere else. I don’t want to know anywhere else.”
Cruz previously agreed to a paycut to return to the Giants after he battled injuries for a few seasons, but there are now questions about if he’ll be able return to his previous form.
However, Ralph Vacchiano spoke to a team source who said the Giants are concerned that Cruz and the team’s other receivers didn’t do enough to draw double teams and attention away from WR Odell Beckham, Jr. this season.
With this in mind, Vacchiano believes the Giants may ultimately decide to move on and find younger and faster receiving option next year while also looking for a larger target on the outside.
Cruz, 30, originally signed on with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of UMass back in 2010. He agreed to restructure his contract last year, which reduced his compensation to $1.3 million for the 2016 season to go along with $4.2 million in play-time incentives. Cruz stands to make another $7.4 million in 2017.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing will free up $7.5 million in available cap space while creating $1.9 million in dead money.
In 2016, Cruz appeared in 15 games for the Giants and caught 39 passes for 586 yards receiving and one touchdown. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 101 receiver out of 119 qualifying players.