With May 9 passing, we are now at the point in the offseason where teams can sign free agents and not have it affect their compensatory draft picks. Of course, that doesn't apply for players who get released, and sometimes those players are still on the market at this time of year. They are the ones desperately looking for jobs, and Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome knows when to pounce and sign a player.
The Ravens brought in free agent center Nick Mangold for a visit at the Owings Mills complex last month, and now they might be bringing in another player who was released by a New York team. Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. This was first reported by Art Stapleton.
Also hearing mutual interest with Victor Cruz and Ravens. I'm told sides working out details for an upcoming potential visit in Baltimore.— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) May 11, 2017
This comes shortly after it was reported that Cruz was visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars on May 23rd, who are currently being run by his former head coach with the Giants, Tom Coughlin.
Cruz has spent his entire seven year career with the Giants, and made a name for himself as one of the best underdog stories in football. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by New York in 2010, and would begin to see more playing time in 2011 after the Giants lost Steve Smith in free agency. Cruz, out of nowhere, would become a main focal point for the Giants Super Bowl championship season. He caught 82 receptions, for 1,536 yards, and 9 touchdowns. He would electrify New York for the next two seasons producing under quarterback Eli Manning, salsa dancing his way into the endzone, and being one of the leagues great class acts.
Sadly, Cruz suffered a severe torn patellar tendon which ended his 2014 season and cost him all of 2015. Last year was a difficult one for the veteran as he took a back seat to some of the younger players on the Giants wide receiver core like Sterling Shepard as the number two option after Odell Beckham Jr. Cruz notched 39 receptions, for 586 yards and 1 touchdown in 2016. Cruz was released by the Giants back in February.
If this report by Stapleton is true, the Ravens will have to wait and see how the former Giants visit goes with Jacksonville. Having Tom Coughlin around is a big advantage for them considering the fact that it was Coughlin himself who gave Cruz a shot in the first place. Baltimore will have to hope Cruz doesn't sign a contract with the Jaguars in order to even get a chance themselves at the former Super Bowl champion.
If the Ravens do get a visit planned with Cruz and sign him, he would make a good option as the third receiver after Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. Despite his injury three years ago, he would still make a quality target for quarterback Joe Flacco. Cruz is also a tremendous teammate and would add great leadership to the locker room and to a wide receiver unit that is a pretty young group. Other than Flacco, Perriman is another player who could really benefit from a guy like Cruz teaching and guiding him through his first full training camp and preseason. Making him a better receiver for the offense and for Flacco. Baltimore just has to play the waiting game for now as Cruz will visit his former head coach first.
Would you want the Ravens to sign Victor Cruz?
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