Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz had a very interesting NFL career. He was an undrafted free agent out of UMass in 2010. Cruz did not play that year, however.
He broke out in 2011. Victor Cruz became one of Eli Manning‘s favorite targets to throw to in the slot and on the outside. During the year the New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots by a score of 21-17, Cruz racked up 1,536 yards on 82 receptions and nine touchdowns. He also was targeted 131 times that season. Victor Cruz appeared in 16 games that season and only started in seven.
In his career, he caught 303 passes for 4,549 yards receiving and 25 touchdowns. Victor Cruz played in 73 games and started in 53 of them. He also rushed for three yards on one carry.
In five career postseason games, he caught 24 passes for 299 yards and one touchdown.
What would have happened if Victor Cruz was never hurt for two seasons with a knee injury? Well, he may be in the running for the Pro Football Hall of Fame today, but the first ballot may have been out of the question.
Some of the other wide receivers on the team that season were Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. Cruz replaced Steve Smith on that team. A lot of people believed that the New York Giants letting go of Steve Smith was a mistake.
Victor Cruz is one of those feel-good stories from Paterson, New Jersey. Cruz also loved to do the Victor Cruz Salsa in the end zone and a lot of fans loved to do that dance.
He may have been one of the most loved New York Giants of all-time like Eli Manning was. Cruz has been an analyst on ESPN for the NFL. He was also the heart and soul of the New York Giants wide receiver group for that time period. Victor Cruz is also such a good role model for fans of pro football let alone the G-Men.
Here are some of the potential all-time greats in franchise history at the position: Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Odell Beckham Jr., Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress, and Steve Smith. I am sure that I am missing a couple of others, but those are some of them.
If Victor Cruz played a little bit longer, he would have had his number retired. Cruz is still around the New York Giants organization every now and then. I am sure that he will be at the Eli Manning Ring of Honor Ceremony, but let’s see if it is even going to happen this season due to the coronavirus. Victor Cruz was a very flashy person and he also has a very good personality and is also very smart.
What do you think of Victor Cruz’s career and could he have been a Hall of Famer if he never got injured? Leave a comment below.
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Follow author Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.