The #New York giants showed the business side of the game today as they released longtime wide receiver #victor cruz and running back Rashad Jennings. The moves help the team open a large amount of salary cap space.

The Cruz legend with the Giants begins

Cruz became an overnight sensation with a breakout season in 2011 when he caught 82 passes for 1,536 yards and 9 touchdowns. His salsa dancing after each score made him a fan favorite and the home crowd responded to all of his catches with a loud call of Cruuuuuz.”

Cruz’s success continued over the next two years, with 86 catches for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012, followed by 73 receptions for 998 yards and four more scores in 2013.

However, after a devastating injury in 2014, Cruz has yet to return to the form he displayed over those three big years.

Cruz's Giants' career takes drastic turn

In the sixth week of the 2014 season, Cruz fell to the ground in the end zone in Philadelphia and fans can still hear the horrifying screams he let out in what turned out to be a torn patellar tendon. The injury was so bad, Cruz not only missed the rest of the year, he also wasn’t able to return for any of the 2015 campaign.

Having not been able to play in almost two years, and with a new Giants star receiver in Odell Beckham Jr.

and a high-profile rookie in Sterling Shepard, Cruz’s opportunities didn’t come often in his return to the game this past season. He ended the year with just 39 catches for 586 yards and one TD. Cruz’s release helps the Giants to free up $7.5 million in cap space for 2017.

Jennings' tenure with the Giants

Jennings’ stint with the Giants lasted for three years after signing on as a free agent prior to the 2014 season.

The best of his three seasons with Big Blue came in 2015 when he rushed for 863 yards and had 29 catches for 296 yards. Jennings was an effective receiver out of the backfield with 94 receptions in his three years with New York, but never really offered the big rushing statistics the Giants would’ve liked to have seen. He even lost his starting job late last season to rookie Paul Perkins, a sign it would be unlikely he’d be back next season.

Prior to joining the Giants, Jennings spent a year with the Oakland Raiders after three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. By releasing him, New York frees up another $2.5 million in cap space, allowing them to pursue more high-quality free agents this offseason.

It’s never easy for fans to accept when a popular player such as Cruz is let go, but there’s a business side to Football and teams have to continually find ways to get better. He’s a player that’ll be missed by the fan base, but it’s easy to understand why he’s been let go. The bigger question that remains is what the market will be for Cruz as he heads into free agency coming off of a not-so-great season after missing nearly all of the previous two seasons.