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Giants Release WR Victor Cruz, RB Rashad Jennings 2014 Fresh Air Fund Honoring Our American Hero - 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) Full view

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)

Giants Release WR Victor Cruz, RB Rashad Jennings

The New York Giants began their offseason roster restructuring on Monday by releasing two key players: veteran wide receiver Victor Cruz and running back Rashad Jennings. 

New York Giants Cut Veterans Victor Cruz, Rashad Jennings

NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones first reported Cruz’s release citing a source close to the receiver, while NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Jennings’ release, and the Giants later confirmed it.

Both players entered the NFL in very unglamorous ways: Cruz signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of UMass in 2010, while Jennings was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars as a seventh-round pick out of Liberty in 2009.

However, each made their mark on the Giants in their own way.

“Victor is one of the great stories of the National Football League,” Giants general manager Jerry Reese said in a statement. “He came in here and earned everything that he’s gotten. It has been amazing to see him grow from an undrafted free agent to a Pro Bowl player and one of our go-to guys during the Super Bowl XLVI run. He will always be one of the great Giants.”

Cruz caught more than 300 regular-season passes and scored 25 touchdowns for the team. The 30-year-old caught four passes for 25 yards and one touchdown in the Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI win over the New England Patriots in 2012, as well as a huge, 10-catch, 142-yard outing against San Francisco in the NFC Championship game two weeks prior.

The wideout also made an unexpected comeback in 2016 after missing 28 games over the previous two years due to a torn patellar tendon and calf injury in consecutive seasons. Cruz did help the Giants’ offense this season, though evidently not enough to justify keeping him: he caught 39 passes for 586 yards and one touchdown.

“I think I have a lot of good football left ahead of me,” Cruz said in a statement. “I think there is still a lot of miles left on this body. I’ll definitely be searching and looking for work as the time comes.”

Cruz is currently 10th on the franchise’s all-time receiving yards list with 4,549 yards and is 17th in touchdowns. He had a close relationship with the Giants’ medical, equipment, video, community relations and public relations staff.

The receiver posted this thank you message and photo on Instagram:

Cutting Cruz will save the Giants approximately $7.5 million in salary cap, and releasing Jennings will save them an additional $2.5 million.

Jennings’ career totals include 3,772 rushing yards and 25 scores – most of those figures in his three seasons with the Giants.

“Rashad is a pro’s pro, on and off the field,” Reese said. “He came to work every day and did everything we asked him to do, and always worked extra to get better at his craft.”

However, the 31-year-old rusher struggled during his tenure with the Giants, running for just 593 yards at 3.3 yards per carry last season and never topped 900 yards in any of his three seasons in New York.

According to NFL’s Marc Sessler, the Giants were one of the worst NFL teams in terms of rushing this season, thus running back will likely be the position they will most desperately seek to fill. Sessler added New York could add a rookie but also pursue Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson should the Vikings decide to release their 31-year-old veteran set to count a huge $18 million against the team’s cap.

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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Written by Pablo Mena