In shocking news that broke yesterday, the New York Giants released seven-year veteran, Victor Cruz. In his career with the Giants, Cruz helped win a Super Bowl against the New England Patriots in 2012.
Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a look at the five potential teams that Cruz could be playing for in 2017.
Cruz could take over for the now recently retired Steve Smith Sr. The Ravens have an unsettled receiver core and outside of Breshad Perriman, who was drafted a couple of years ago, there aren’t many targets for Joe Flacco to throw to.
Cruz would step into the slot position, and give the Ravens a reliable target. If you look at the AFC North, no team has a legitimate threat at the slot position. This could give Baltimore the edge in a division they were competitive in until the end of the season.
It’s no secret that AJ Green was the only downfield threat Cincinnati had last season. The 2016 NFL Draft saw the Bengals select WR Tyler Boyd in the second round. With those two, Green and Boyd, Cincinnati has two big, outside threats. The only thing missing is a slot presence.
After fighting his way back to the football field last season, Cruz didn’t line up in the slot much. Before his injury in 2014, Cruz dominated the slot position. He may have lost some burst and speed, but Cruz will still be able to contribute if lined up correctly.
One of the Achilles Heels for Philadelphia last year was the receiver position. Outside of Jordan Matthews, no one could be trusted when thrown to.
Matthews plays in the slot for the Eagles, but his big frame, 6’3″ 215 pounds, makes him a threat on the outside against smaller corners. Adding Cruz to the slot not only gives second-year QB Carson Wentz a reliable target, it gives him an experienced receiver who understands the game and has won before.
Cruz may even be able to take guys like Nelson Agholor under his wing and teach him some things. Of course, also playing against the Giants twice a year would be an added bonus.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans has been the Bucs best receiver since he came on the scene in 2014. Last season, Evans had a career year. The three-year vet had over 1,300 yards receiving and 12 TDs. All of which came as defenders were double and triple covering him.
Cruz would be a great addition to this up and coming team. Cruz would give Jameis Winston another reliable target to throw to. Tampa Bay hasn’t had a reliable slot WR in quite some time. Adding Cruz could help them for the NFC South crown.
The Titans were able to get solid play out of their receivers in 2016. The only thing missing was a slot presence. Tennessee seems to have their two outside WRs in Tajae Sharpe and Rishard Matthews. Adding Cruz will not only do wonders for this receiving corps but help Marcus Mariota out tremendously.
Outside of his football ability, Cruz would bring leadership to the Titans locker room and a winning attitude. He would be a mentor to this young locker room.