The conclusion of the 2016 season a week and a day ago means teams can begin releasing veterans as they prepare for the start of 2017 free agency. A notable name was released on Monday, with the New York Giants cutting ties with Victor Cruz. He was facing a $9.4 million cap number, and given his injuries and 2016 production, that simply was not happening.
Cruz missed 26 games in 2014 and 2015 due to a torn patellar tendon. In 15 games this past season, he had 39 receptions for 586 yards and a touchdown. He wants to keep playing, and can still provide some production in the NFL — just not at his previous price tag.
I have already gotten questions about whether or not the 49ers might kick the tires on him. Our friends at Big Blue View looked at a few options for him. The 49ers have a need for wide receiver help, but Bleeding Green Nation offered up plenty of good reasons not to take a run at Cruz. His best days are behind him, and even though he can contribute, he makes a lot more sense as veteran depth on a contending team.
The 49ers wide receiver depth is questionable at best, but I wouldn’t mind them investing a high pick in a receiver, and then seeing what that person can do along with Torrey Smith, Eric Rogers, Bruce Ellington, and others. I could see them adding a veteran option in free agency, but even that would best be suited for someone on the younger side, and not coming off Cruz’s injury history.