What to Know
Victor Cruz rose from virtual anonymity to global superstar with a breakout 2011 season
Releasing him saves the Giants $7.5 million in cap room this year
Cruz caught 39 passes for 586 yards and just one touchdown last season
The Giants are releasing fan favorite Victor Cruz after seven years with the team, NBC 4 New York has confirmed.
The move had been widely anticipated to free up $7.5 million in cap room, but nonetheless prompted an avalanche of sadness on social media from fans who grew to love the receiver who famously did the salsa dance in the end zone every time he scored a touchdown.
The 30-year-old undrafted receiver rose from virtual anonymity to global superstar when he hauled in 82 receptions for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2011 season, which ended with a Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots. He followed that up with a 10-touchdown, 1,000-yard campaign the next year.
Injuries sidelined the Paterson, New Jersey, native for 26 straight games from 2014 to 2015. Cruz returned for the Giants' opener against Dallas in September, scoring the game-winning touchdown and, yes, celebrating with an end zone salsa dance, in that matchup.
Cruz finished this past season with 39 receptions for 586 yards and that lone score. He played college ball at the University of Massachusetts.
He thanked supporters in an Instagram post Monday.
"No long paragraph for all to read, just simply THANK YOU!" Cruz wrote. "To the @nygiants organization and to the amazing fans that have watched me grow up in front of their eyes. THANK YOU!!"
The team also cut running back Rashad Jennings, who earned most of his 3,772 career rushing yards and 25 touchdowns in his three seasons with the Giants.