Now that the New York Giants have re-signed wide receiver Victor Cruz to a five-year, $43 million extension Giants fans can relax but don’t count on Cruz relaxing just yet. Cruz, who had somewhat of a down year last season, is eager to get back to work and while his main goal is to help get the Giants back to the Super Bowl this season he could be soon taking aim at some Giants all-time receiving records.
Cruz, 26, joined the Giants in 2010 as an undrafted free agent. Although he suited up for three games he didn’t record any receiving statistics. However, in 2011 he burst onto the scene and caught 82 passes for a Giants single-season record 1536 yards and nine touchdowns. He followed that up with 86 catches last season for 1092 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In 35 games, Cruz has accumulated 168 catches for 2628 yards and 19 touchdowns. He already ranks 20th all-time for career receiving yards and sits 6869 yards behind Amani Toomer who currently resides at the top of that list. To reach the top of that list in five years, Cruz would need to average 1374 yards per year. It is obviously not an unattainable number and Cruz will be turning 31-years old during that fifth year so age might not be an issue as long as he can stay relatively healthy which goes without saying.
Toomer, who is the Giants’ all-time leader in receptions (668), yards (9497) and touchdowns (54) amassed his totals over a 13-year career hung up his cleats after his age 34 season that saw him catch 48 passes for 580 yards and 4 touchdowns. Toomer didn’t record his first 1000-yard season until his age 25 season, the same age year Cruz recorded his. Toomer enjoyed his last 1000-yard season in his age 29 season, giving him five straight years of at least 1000 yards.
Cruz will need to perform at an elite level for five to six years to retire as the all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. The Giants offense has certainly changed since the days when Toomer was catching passes from Dave Brown, Kent Graham, Danny Kanell, Kerry Collins and even Eli Manning early in Manning’s career meaning Cruz could very well get more chances to accumulate his statistics.
Given the Giants’ reliance on the aerial attack in recent years Cruz could very well sneak past Toomer and slide into first place in the three major receiving categories.
While it is a little early to be discussing Giants all-time receiving marks and Victor Cruz it is certainly something to keep an eye on as Cruz inches forward on those lists. One thing is certain, he is currently on pace to break those records if he plays the same amount of years and should see plenty of targets in the Giants pass-happy attack. He should also be able to take aim at Steve Smith’s single-season receptions record of 107 catches. With Cruz in the fold Giants receiving records could very well be under attack.