At one point in time, the talk around the New York Giants’ facility was about how dynamic the club would be with both of their dynamic wide receivers on the field at the same time. Last season, we found out exactly what that looked like when cruz returned to action after missing a year and a half and quite frankly, it didn’t live up to the imagery.
After Cruz was cut over the offseason, saving the Giants approximately $7.5 million, the fans moved on. The Giants had a young replacement for Cruz all lined up in Sterling Shepard and then signed Brandon Marshall as a free agent.
But Cruz has not moved on. Yesterday on a local radio program, Cruz intimated the Giants may have sabotaged his career.
“Halfway through the year, you’re like, ‘OK, I’m balling,’ and then the other half I’m not getting the ball,” Cruz said on 105.1 FM’s The Breakfast Club. “And you’re just like, ‘What’s going on?’ It was like, ‘OK, I see what’s happening. They don’t want me here anymore.’”
The numbers line up with Cruz’ assertions, although the former Pro Bowler, who is reportedly headed to the Chicago Bears, retracted his statements afterward on social media.
“Cruz played 90 percent of the offensive snaps and had 25 catches on 42 targets for 377 yards and one touchdown in the first eight games of last season. He played 57 percent of the snaps and had 14 catches on 30 targets for 209 yards and no touchdowns in the second half of the season. He missed the Giants’ Week 10 game with a sprained ankle.”
The Giants are flatly dismissing the notion that they purposely dry-docked Cruz in order to release him after the season. They were scoring just 19 points per game and would have used any and all options to their advantage. Head coach Ben McAdoo, speaking to reporters at OTAs on Thursday said there was no accuracy to Cruz’ claims.
As for Beckham, he was absent again, missing his third straight OTA and even though these sessions are voluntary, the team would prefer their players do their best to attend. DE Olivier Vernon was also absent on Thursday.
“You want all your players here, especially the great ones,” said McAdoo.
The fact that Beckham was no in attendance is not a big deal, but because its Beckham, it has become one. The situation has been magnified by Beckham’s off the field activities. Social media posts over the past several days show him working out with the much-maligned Johnny Manziel and hanging out with singer Iggy Azalia. He also was busy signing the biggest shoe deal in NFL history with Nike.
All of this while while his teammates toiled in the field house at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on an inclement New Jersey weather day. Say what you will, and I know OTAs are voluntary, but he’s got to be here. As the most visible face of this storied franchise, he’s got to represent.
Especially after the way last season ended. The boat fiasco followed by an absolutely embarrassing performance against the Packers in the Wild Card round should be ammunition enough for OBJ to right his ship here with the Giants.
But he’s not here, and he’s rubbing it in all of our faces. Pretty soon, it may not matter. He didn’t invent this game and the Giants, who’ve been in business 92 years, may move on from him, too.