Why The New York Giants Have the Philadelphia Eagles to Thank for Victor Cruz

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has an incredible story, but if it weren’t for the Philadelphia Eagles, you may never have heard of him.

Cruz exploded onto the scene with his incredible Monday Night Football performance in the 2010 preseason, where he caught three touchdowns and made a ridiculous one handed grab, however he did not see much action in the regular season that year.

Though it was believed he could come back later in the season, a hamstring injury forced the Giants to place him on injured reserve. He played in just three games and did not record a single catch.

Fast forward to the insanity that was the 2011 free agency period. The NFL was locked out for pretty much the entire 2011 off season, giving teams only a two-week signing period before training camp.

One of the casualties for the Giants was Steve Smith, who was coming off a serious knee injury at the end of the 2010 season. The Giants did not think Smith would be ready for the start of the 2011 season, so they were unwilling to give him the amount of money he desired.

Who was? The Philadelphia Eagles.

They signed Smith to a better offer, meaning Cruz would have a chance to prove himself in camp. He did not impress as much as he had in the 2010 preseason, but he did enough to be named the fourth string receiver.

After injuries struck down Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon in week 2, Cruz would step into the starting lineup against who else? The Philadelphia Eagles.

Who knows if he would have gotten that opportunity had Steve Smith stuck around. In fact, and irony is all over the Week 3 matchup with the Eagles, Smith dropped a pass that was intercepted by Aaron Ross early in the game. It prevented the Eagles from scoring.

Not only that, but the Eagles game would prove to be Cruz’s coming out party, catching three passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. A little over four months later, Cruz is the franchise leader in receiving yards in a season, and has a Super Bowl ring to boot.

The Giants should send the Eagles a nice thank you letter; if it weren’t the Eagles out-bidding the Giants for Steve Smith, we may never have heard of Victor Cruz.

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  • showroomguy

    while we are thanking the Eagles let’s put a few more things on the list

    1. D. Jackson punt return last year. For that we have S. Weatherford/J. Williams
    2. Letting Bill Parcells hire their wide receiver coach Tom Coughlin
    3. Herm Edwards returning ‘the fumble’. It was the single play that eventually brought George Young to NY. His fingerprints are on all 4 Lombardi Trophies

    • Jeff Shull

      Haha…great comment

  • Uncle Marty

    Smith was gone whether the Eagles signed him or not….Smith would not have been ready in week 2 or 3 with the Giants, so Cruz would still have gotten the call to play when Manningham and Hixon went down in week 2. The only question is whether Cruz would have made the team if the Giants re-signed Smith – but if they did, he’d still have gotten his shot this season.

    Reese deserves credit for realizing Cruz’ potential in the first place.

    What the Giants really should thank the Eagles for is not getting it together until the last month of the season because they were playing great ball to close out the year and could have snuck in and taken the NFC East crown from under our noses.

    • Jeff Shull

      That is absolutely not the case…Smith had an offer from the Giants and the Eagles offered him more money so he took it…and he PLAYED in the Week 3 game so there is not any reason to believe he wouldn’t have for the Giants.

      • Keith

        The Eagles offered him the same deal the Giants did not more. I think Smith wanted to make NY realize how much they would need him giving a big pay day after what vick did last year. Also with Boss leaving he likley expected NY to go 6-10 and need him back so he would get paid. Not the Case though lol Steve who…

        • Jeff Shull

          No Smith definitely left for more money, he even said he felt like the team did not want him because they wouldn’t match the Eagles offer. Oh well, good riddance