The Chicago Bears signed wide receiver Victor Cruz to a one-year, contract on Thursday. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport broke the news.
Former undrafted free agent out of the University of Massachusetts, Victor Cruz, was released by the New York Giants earlier this year on February 13th. This came as no surprise and was part of the team’s first official roster move of the off-season. Ultimately, the Giant’s simply just couldn’t afford to keep the New Jersey product, as he was set to make $7.5 million in salary and bonuses if he stayed with the team in 2017.
Victor Cruz Signs With Chicago Bears
Although he turned 30 in November, he still possesses admirable physical talent as he stands at 6’0, 205 pounds. He started his career lined up on the outside due to these advantages, but eventually found the majority of his success at the slot position later in his career. During the first real season with the team, he salsa danced his way to a Super Bowl win against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, where he came up with the only postseason touchdown of his career.
With two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning under center for the duration of his time with the team, Cruz was able to solidify his legacy in New York, posting 303 receptions, 4,549 yards, and 25 touchdowns. With seven seasons under his belt, he has proven to be a seasoned veteran at the wide receiver position. In his rookie year in 2010, he showed his explosiveness in the pre-season. Cruz was set to be a significant part of the offense. That was until he a hamstring injury landed him on the IR at the beginning of the season. During his return the following year, he put up career high numbers. This landed him a spot in the 2011 Pro Bowl. His production remained steady until week six in 2014 when injury struck again. A torn patella tendon had him sidelined for the rest of the season and all of 2015.
His long-awaited return in 2016 was hopeful. However, it ended with a lack of snaps and his overall involvement in the offense decreased. This was due in part to rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who had a fantastic season. This ultimately led the rookie to become Manning’s number two target, taking over the role of slot receiver. The offense as a whole struggled, and transitioning to new head coach Ben McAdoo surely didn’t help. Despite the negative outlook this year, Cruz has never shied away from a challenge or a comeback. With some gas still left in the tank, he looks to take back the more contributing role that he deserves in 2017.