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Victor Cruz wants the ball

Victor-Cruz-GiantsThe New York Giants’ offense looked completely out of sync against the Detroit Lions on Monday night, which was consistent with what we saw throughout the preseason and for much of last year. Victor Cruz, who was at one point one of the most effective wide receivers in football, caught just two passes for 24 yards and was targeted six times. He was not pleased.

On Tuesday, Cruz said the Giants need to design more plays for him if they want to score points.

“I think in order for us to be successful, there needs to be an increased number of targets in my direction,” he said, via Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News. “And in other playmakers’ directions. Just like Rueben Randle as well, in my opinion. But that all comes with the continuity, that comes with getting the running game going, that comes with building what we want to build as the game continues.”

We all know Cruz was just throwing Randle’s name in there as a side note. Eli Manning didn’t even look in Cruz’s direction until late in the first quarter. This is the same Cruz that caught 168 passes for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns between the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Second-year tight end Larry Donnell (who?) was targeted eight times and hauled in five catches and a touchdown. Cruz did add that he thought it was good to get some of the younger guys involved to build their confidence.

“I think Larry Donnell had a great game and he made some big catches for us… I think it’s important to increase those guys’ confidence,” said Cruz. “I think it’s important to get those guys started, as well as getting everybody else involved as well.”

A lot of the problems the Giants are having stem from an abysmal offensive line. Manning had virtually no time to throw the ball on Monday. Defenses are also more likely to key in on Cruz until someone else proves they can beat them. While many have expected Rueben Randle to be that guy, he has a tendency to run bad routes and drop passes. It could be a very long season for the G-Men.

Victor Cruz: Orlando Scandrick was holding on every play

Victor-Cruz-GiantsDallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick did a phenomenal job of shutting down New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz on Sunday. Cruz was held to just two catches and 27 yards. He also lost a fumble, thanks in part to Scandrick working to strip the ball away. However, Cruz has an explanation for his lack of success — Scandrick cheated, of course.

“He always holds on every play,” Cruz said after the game, via Jordan Raanan of NJ.com. “It’s always borderline whether it was pass interference or holding or whatever. I just don’t think about that and understand that he is going to do that and play through.”

Between Justin Tuck sharing a photo of his Super Bowl rings and Cruz claiming Scandrick held him on every play, the Giants are doing a fantastic job of proving they can’t handle losing with class.

“You just have to understand what you’re coming into and what type of player is,” Cruz said of Scandrick. “You watch him on the field, he grabs and holds on everyone. You just have to be able to battle through it and get yourself open.”

One would think that if there was holding or pass interference on every play, the officials probably would have called it a few times. The game was in New Jersey, so it’s not like the G-Men can claim the Cowboys got all the calls at home. To me, it sounds like one lame excuse after another from a team that absolutely had to win.

Related: Orlando Scandrick and Jason Hatcher blast Giants after win

H/T Pro Football Talk

Victor Cruz leaves with neck injury after being hit, returns (GIF)

victor-cruz-neckNew York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz went to the locker room during Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles to have X-rays after suffering a neck injury in the third quarter.

Cruz caught a pass for 6 yards on second down in the Giants’ first possession of the third quarter and appeared to be hit in the head before being slammed back to the ground. Cruz was leading the Giants with 5 catches for 64 yards at the time of his injury. The team ended up punting on the drive after going three-and-out.

Cruz’s X-rays must have been clear, because he returned later in the quarter.

GIF via @BuzzFeedSports

Victor Cruz does not feel New York Giants paid him what he is worth

Victor-Cruz-GiantsVictor Cruz and the New York Giants are happy to have gotten the 26-year-old’s contract situation squared away, but that does not mean he feels he was compensated fairly. Once a player signs on the dotted line, he no longer has a right to complain. No one forced Cruz to sign a five-year, $43 million extension with New York, but the Pro Bowl receiver was quick to point out on Monday that he feels the Giants got a hometown discount.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s tough. It’s tough,” Cruz told Sirius XM NFL Radio, via Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News. “When you understand from a numbers standpoint, and the numbers you put up you feel like deserve a certain amount of money … and you want your team to owe that to you.”

In other words, Cruz thinks he could have gotten more. His deal includes $15.6 million guaranteed, which is close to the $17.8 million in guaranteed money Greg Jennings got from the Minnesota Vikings. However, it falls well short of the $30 million in guaranteed money Mike Wallace will receive from the Miami Dolphins as part of his $60 million deal. Does Cruz think he could have gotten that much?

“I think playing in NY, you can’t take that away,” Cruz said. “You ask yourself, ‘Would you want to play for this amount in New York and play in the best city in the world and play football, and — I’m a hometown kid — be close to home and your mom and your family? Or do you want to take a big pay day and go somewhere like Kansas City or Minnesota where your family might not be able to come as often as you want and you’re living in a city you’re not too familiar with and it’s an adjustment for you?'”

Again, he signed the contract. But that didn’t stop Cruz from basically admitting he wanted to be paid more like Wallace.

“But I’m not going to say it’s easy when you see guys getting these huge paydays and you feel like you’re at the same caliber, if not better than some of those guys,” he added.

Through two seasons in New York, Cruz has caught 168 passes for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns. Those are elite receiver numbers, but every team’s situation is different. The Giants would also like to keep Hakeem Nicks, and they’ll need a good chunk of their salary cap to do that. Considering he is locked into a winning franchise for several more years, Cruz’s deal sounds pretty good to me.

Victor Cruz hoping to land reality TV show (Update: Cruz denies it)

Victor-Cruz-GiantsVictor Cruz is looking to get a long-term deal hammered out with the New York Giants, but that’s not the only contract talk the 26-year-old receiver currently has in the works. He is also hoping to land a reality television show.

“It is going to be something that is very unique to me and very unique to what I like, and like to do,” Cruz told the NY Daily News on Monday. “We are still fielding some requests, so we will see how it goes — the timing has to be right, and I have got to squeeze in some training in there before the season starts.”

Cruz said he would like the show to be based in New York. He also added that he is aware of the disastrous situation reality TV has created for other professional athletes like Kris Humphries.

“I definitely want it to be my show,” Cruz said. “My own thing, something that I can contribute to and something I like to do, I can be comfortable with, and an easy show, something people like to watch and that people can be in tune with on a daily basis.”

More importantly for Giants fans, Cruz talked about how his top priority is still bringing another Super Bowl trophy to New York and how the big game being held in New Jersey provides further motivation. That being said, doing reality TV would put him on the same scale as people like Humphries, Lamar Odom, Hulk Hogan and Ryan Lochte. Should that be a concern for fans and coaches? As long as he doesn’t let the cameras rolls while he gets dumped over the phone, Cruz should be just fine.

UPDATE: Well, this is kind of weird. Apparently Cruz is claiming the usually-reliable NY Daily News completely made up the quotes about him wanting to do reality TV. Otherwise, how would you explain this tweet:

Victor Cruz signs with Jay-Z’s sports agency

Victor-Cruz-GiantsJay-Z is building an empire. Actually, Jay-Z has already built more than an empire. He has now turned his focus toward adding some of the biggest names in sports to his realm. On Tuesday, Robinson Cano announced that he had fired agent Scott Boras and signed with Roc Nation, which has paired with Creative Artists Agency to begin representing athletes. Victor Cruz is joining them.

According to the NY Post, the New York Giants wide receiver signed with Jay-Z’s sports agency on Wednesday. Last season, Cruz incorporated Jay-Z’s diamond-shaped “Roc” symbol into his touchdown routine, which makes a lot more sense now.

Unlike Cano, Cruz did not have to fire his current agent to sign with Roc Nation Sports. Cruz’s agent Tom Condon is already affiliated with CAA, so his deal with Jay-Z is expected to have more of an impact on endorsement deals than his football contract. The Giants have put a first-round tender on Cruz, meaning they would receive a first-round pick for him if another team offers the 26-year-old a contract New York chooses not to match.

As the Post speculated, Cruz’s decision to sign with Jay-Z’s agency could actually be good news for the Giants. Jay-Z has tremendous influence in New York and the surrounding area, so it probably would have no benefit to Cruz from an endorsement standpoint to leave New York. Eli Manning is certainly hoping that is the case.

Victor Cruz pays tribute to Sandy Hook victim Jack Pinto with cleats (Picture)

Victor-Cruz-Jack-Pinto-cleat

Like many other players across the NFL, Victor Cruz played Sunday’s game with an incredibly heavy heart. People all across the nation have felt the impact of the tragic shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, and the New York Giants wide receiver was no exception.

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