Bears Sign Free Agent Victor Cruz To One-Year Deal
Victor Cruz signs one-year deal with Bears
The free agent wide receiver confirmed the news in an Instagram post:
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Cruz, 30, spent his first seven years in the NFL with the New York Giants. From 2011-13, he averaged 80 catches, 1,209 yards and eight touchdowns per season.
However, Cruz became hampered by injuries late in his tenure with the Giants, and missed 26 games over the following two campaigns as a result. The team released him on Feb. 13.
The receiver last underwent knee surgery in late 2014. The Giants freed up $7.5 million salary cap space by cutting Cruz, who was replaced by rookie Sterling Shepard this past season.
Cruz signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Massachusetts in 2010 and rapidly stood out on Big Blue. He helped lead the Giants to a Super Bowl title in the 2011-2012 season and recorded 303 catches, 4,549 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns throughout his career in New York. Cruz took a large pay cut to return to the Giants in 2016: he earned $5.3 million.
During an interview on radio show “The Breakfast Club” on Thursday morning, Cruz implied the Giants intentionally reduced his production last year.
The wideout claimed the team lowered his statistics in order to avoid paying incentives in his contract and in order to make it easier to release him.
“I felt it all year long. Halfway through the year I’m ballin’, the other half I’m not getting the ball,” Cruz said. “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.’
“A lot of people probably don’t know this… Let’s say I played well, was a 1,000-yard receiver last year, it would have been more difficult from a fan perspective to cut me.”
Cruz confessed it hurt to be cut by the Giants.
“It hurt, to be real. I gave so much to them. Seven years,” he said. “It definitely hurt … but every run has to stop at some point.”
The Bears were seeking a wideout after Alshon Jeffrey signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency earlier this offseason.
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 29: Professional football player Victor Cruz attends the 2014 Fresh Air Fund Honoring Our American Hero at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on May 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
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