Victor Cruz confirmed that he will be back with the New York Giants next season when he posted "Once a Giant always a Giant. See you in September" on Instagram. The wide receiver reportedly agreed to restructuring his contract.
Cruz was set to count $9.9 million against the cap in 2016, but was never guaranteed to see that amount after multiple injuries have derailed his career. Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record reports Cruz's base salary has been knocked down to $1.3 million for 2016 with playing time incentives adding up to $5.5 million along with additional production incentives. The Giants will probably save a few million on next season's cap, too, which they need after signing cornerback Janoris Jenkins and defensive end Olivier Vernon to mammoth deals Wednesday.
Cruz was one of the league's best slot receivers for a few years, forming a timeless connection with Eli Manning. An undrafted free agent in 2010, he became one of New York's biggest sports stars thanks to his electric playmaking abilities and iconic salsa touchdown dance.
Unfortunately, his career hit a wall in 2014. Cruz tore his patellar tendon midway through the season, possibly the worst knee injury an athlete can suffer. He spent the entire offseason rehabbing and seemed set to make a return in 2015, but picked up a calf injury in training camp that never improved. Cruz eventually tore the calf muscle during a practice session in November and never played a single snap all year. He turns 30 in November.
Although it's unlikely Cruz will rediscover his early-career form, the Giants are dangerously thin at receiver, having no reliable weapons behind Odell Beckham Jr. Bringing him back makes a lot of sense for both sides, although the Giants would do well to pursue a viable No. 2 receiver so they can keep Cruz in the slot, where he's best. There are a lot of question marks surrounding Cruz, but the Giants will give him every chance to get his career back on track.