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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Articles tagged: Victor Cruz

10 NFL players who should be considering retirement

Josh McCown

Some say that the NFL stands for “Not For Long,” and the reasons for that are obvious. Football is a dangerous game played by some of the strongest and fastest athletes in the world. Most NFL careers are understandably short at an average of between 3-6 years, with the higher number projected by the NFL and the lower number projected by the NFLPA.

In some cases, players exceed those numbers, but Father Time catches up with everyone. And quite often, that’s a hard pill to swallow for someone who loves the game and knows nothing else. But in the end, retirement is inevitable for all who snap on the chinstrap.

Here’s a look at 10 NFL players who should be considering retirement in 2018.

10. Karlos Dansby, LB, free agent

Karlos Dansby briefly considered retirement a season ago before signing a one-year deal to return to the Arizona Cardinals, where he appeared in 16 games, recording 95 tackles and one sack. While Dansby’s numbers were still respectable, his Pro Football Focus grade dipped to 68.2, which is considered below average. But despite that, and the fact that he’s approaching the age of 37, Dansby still does not appear ready to hang them up, and teams remain interested. Ultimately, the window on Dansby’s career is closing. He’ll need to think about life after football sooner rather than later.


Victor Cruz rips Giants for ‘disrespectful’ decision to bench Eli Manning

Eli Manning

Victor Cruz enjoyed his best seasons as an NFL receiver catching passes from Eli Manning, so you can probably guess how he felt about the New York Giants benching the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

In an appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” Tuesday, Cruz was highly critical of former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and the way the Manning situation has been handled.

“Benching Eli was probably one of the most disrespectful things I’ve seen in a very long time,” Cruz said. “I think what he’s done for that organization, what he’s done for the city of New York. Especially this season where essentially you have nothing to play for, and you’re going to bench a guy that’s been your most consistent piece in 13, 14 years in that organization to assess your talent in the last four games of the season? I didn’t understand that.

“Especially a guy like Eli, you want him to go out and finish the year strong, finish the year how he wants. He’s earned the right to finish the year how he wants to finish the year. Not being benched. And then don’t slap him in the face and say, ‘Hey, we’ll start you for a half just to keep the keep the streak alive.’ That’s not Eli’s swagger, that’s not how he is. He wants to be out there, and he wants to perform and win.”

As for McAdoo, Cruz said he believes the coach should have been fired sooner.

“I think it was long overdue,” he said. “I think it was a couple of weeks already too late. Once you see guys in the locker room start to give these anonymous reports about how he’s handling them and how practice on (Saturday), that’s how you know he’s completely lost the locker room and completely lost the players.”

Cruz also said there is “no shot” some of the things that have happened this season in New York — including the various suspensions for violations of team rules — would have taken place if Tom Coughlin were still in charge.

McAdoo led the Giants to an 11-5 record and a postseason berth a year ago. When you consider the fact that the franchise has not fired a coach in the middle of the season in over 40 years, you get a sense of just how ugly things had gotten. One former NFL quarterback may feel the Giants extended Manning a huge courtesy, but the majority of people seem to agree with Cruz.

Victor Cruz puzzled over Giants not calling him after WR injuries

Victor Cruz

The New York Giants are in desperate need of help at the wide receiver position, and one player who is quite familiar with their system is stunned his phone has yet to ring.

Victor Cruz, who spent six seasons with the Giants and is currently a free agent, said on his podcast this week that he is “one thousand percent” sure he could be of help to his former team.

“I’ve been literally thinking to myself of reasons why they wouldn’t and I can’t think of any,” Cruz said, via Tom Rock of Newsday.

The Giants will likely be without wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall for the remainder of the year, as both were placed on injured reserve this week after undergoing ankle surgery. Cruz, 30, has had numerous health issues of his own, but he was once one of the NFL’s most productive receivers and had a great rapport with Eli Manning.

Cruz said he reached out to the Giants via his agent and was told the team would get back to him after assessing its injury situation. Ben McAdoo recently said Cruz is not an option, but the man who brought salsa dancing to the NFL is not giving up hope.

“Can I paint a picture for you?” Cruz said. “Can you imagine, if I get a phone call from the New York Giants and I go back out there wearing the number 80 in blue and I get in that end zone one more time? Do you understand? I can already hear the deafening screams from the crowd. Already, I can hear it.”

It’s hard to say how deafening the screams would be from fans of an 0-5 team that could be the worst in the NFC. We also don’t know how healthy and explosive Cruz is, and the Giants obviously feel bringing him back isn’t worth their time.

Ben McAdoo: Victor Cruz return is ‘not an option’ for Giants

Victor Cruz

The New York Giants have been decimated at wide receiver, but at least at the moment, they’re not looking to bring in one familiar option.

Coach Ben McAdoo said Monday that, while he’d “never say never,” the return of veteran receiver Victor Cruz is “not an option,” via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.

Cruz was released by the Chicago Bears after failing to make the team and is currently a free agent. He played for the Giants from 2010 through 2016, catching 25 touchdowns over that span.

With a glut of injuries to receivers and at least one of them season-ending, New York will have to go somewhere to boost their depleted stock of players. It’s unclear where they’ll turn if Cruz isn’t on the list, though.

Victor Cruz salsa dances after catching touchdown with Bears

Victor Cruz salsa

Victor Cruz has brought back his salsa dance, albeit in a different uniform.

Cruz caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Mitch Trubisky during the Chicago Bears’ preseason game against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. After scoring, Cruz showed off the salsa dance he made famous during his time with the New York Giants.

Cruz is competing with multiple players for a spot on the Bears’ roster. Catching a touchdown on Thursday was a good start, but the score by no means ensures we will see more of Cruz in Chicago come the regular season. He still has a lot of work left to do.

Victor Cruz will reportedly sign with Bears

Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz was not lying about having no intentions of retiring, and the former New York Giants wide receiver has found himself a new home.

Kimberly Jones and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network are reporting that Cruz has agreed to sign a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

The timing of the signing is interesting, as one of Chicago’s better receivers was held out of organized team activities this week with an apparent leg injury.

Cruz has battled injuries in recent years, though he appeared in 15 games last season. His production, however, was down quite a bit, as he caught just 39 passes for 586 yards and a touchdown.

Victor Cruz to also visit with Bears

Victor Cruz

Now that the NFL Draft has passed, it’s a better time for free agents to find a home. And Victor Cruz appears poised to do just that.

Cruz is set to meet with the Chicago Bears on Monday, according to Kim Jones.

This news comes out the same day that it was reported Cruz would meet with the Jaguars and also that he is receiving interest from the Ravens.

With all this news trickling out on the same day about Cruz’s future, it seems pretty clear that his agents are working hard to create some buzz and a market for their client.

Cruz, 30, had 39 catches for 586 yards last season for the Giants.

Victor Cruz, Ravens reportedly have mutual interest

Victor Cruz

Now that the draft has come and gone, the market for veteran wide receiver Victor Cruz seems to be perking up.

Not long after reports surfaced that Cruz will visit with the Jacksonville Jaguars at some point this month, Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record added that the Baltimore Ravens and Cruz have “mutual interest” in one another and could set up a meeting of their own.

The Ravens may actually have a bigger need at wideout than the Jaguars. With Steve Smith having retired, Mike Wallace becomes the team’s most reliable receiver. We all know how inconsistent he has been throughout his career, and 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman has yet to sniff his full potential.

Cruz made it clear recently that he is not going to stop grinding until a team signs him. He should get an opportunity as we inch closer to training camp.

Victor Cruz reportedly visiting with Jaguars

Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz’s old boss may have interest in working with him again, as the free agent wide receiver is scheduled to visit with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tom Pelissero of USA Today first reported that Cruz will meet with the Jaguars on Thursday, but another report claims the visit is not taking place until later in the month.

Either way, it sounds like new Jaguars head of football operations Tom Coughlin is willing to give Cruz a look. Coughlin coached the 30-year-old veteran with the New York Giants.

Cruz has battled injuries in recent years, though he appeared in 15 games last season. His production, however, was down quite a bit, as he caught just 39 passes for 586 yards and a touchdown.

While there has been very little interest in Cruz since the Giants parted ways with him, he recently took to social media to assure fans he has given zero consideration to retiring. A young team like the Jaguars would make some sense for Cruz.

10 NFL players who should be thinking about retirement

Darrelle Revis Jets

Football is a brutal sport, so it’s no surprise NFL careers are not exactly long-lasting. But in some cases, players are able to weather the repeated storms and carve out long, successful careers. It’s rare when you break it down by the numbers, but it does happen.

Eventually however, the game catches up to everyone and things begin to break down, the grind becomes more than a person can bear, and the decision to retire becomes paramount. Some go out on their own terms, but most are forced to leave the game they love whether they like it or not.

We’ve seen those two scenarios in recent years with the willing retirement of quarterback Peyton Manning and the forced retirement of countless others. Even guys like Tony Romo and Jay Cutler surprised many by taking broadcasting jobs this season over returning for another season, though neither has officially said he is done.

Here’s a look at 10 players who should be thinking about retirement.

10. Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals have begun looking into the future at quarterback, but for now, they’re sticking with Carson Palmer. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing as he’s clearly got a little left in the tank. But we know the former Heisman Trophy winner has considered stepping away.

“My intent was to take some time after the season to get away and see where I was physically and mentally,” Palmer said in a February statement. “On both fronts, I can say I’m ready to get back to work and prepare for the 2017 season. This is a phenomenal group with a very special opportunity in front of it. I know how rare that is and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”

The Cardinals gave Palmer a one-year contract extension last August so that he wouldn’t be a lame-duck quarterback in 2017, but there’s a chance neither side opts to see that final season. Once retirement gets into a player’s head and they begin taking months to decide their future, it won’t be too much longer before the decision to hang them up is made.

Is that a guarantee Palmer will retire following the 2017 season? No, but it’s a very plausible scenario. And even if he opts to return in 2018, it’s extremely unlikely he’ll play beyond that.

9. Karlos Dansby, LB, Cardinals