By: Alex Patt
Bears continue to make offseason moves as they agreed to a one-year with veteran WR Victor Cruz, as reported by Kimberly Jones. Cruz met with the Bears the last week as well as the Ravens and Jags after being cut from the Giants last February.
The 30-year old veteran played his entire professional career with the New York Giants with Eli Manning, and has 4549 total yards, 303 recorded catches, 25 touchdowns in 70 games. He won a Super Bowl in 2011 and was a Pro Bowler in 2012 with a career high in touchdowns (10) and catches (86).
His value now really is not high, hence why the Bears got him on a small, cheap deal. Cruz was injured most of 2014 (only 6 games), missed 2015 due to calf surgery and finally came back for 15 games in 2016. He only has two touchdown catches since 2014 and was only targeted 72 times all of last season. With the recent injury history and hitting the 30 mark, it is easy to say he is not at his pro bowl status anymore.
What exactly does Cruz bring? He brings a veteran presence in a stop-gap role. This is not a signing to put their receiving core over the top. As the Bears continue to rebuild, there will be more young targets being drafted or signed throughout the process but until those come around they need someone to fill in. The Bears are hoping Kevin White works out and having Cruz can be beneficial for him to learn with.
The expectations for Cruz will not be extremely high, but that does not mean he will not necessarily be decent. It would be beyond surprising if he puts up 2011-2012 type numbers again but he will very well possibly be targeted more than last season thus likely seeing better numbers. Cruz himself certainly wants to bring his all as he looks for a fresh start with a new team. If he can stay healthy then he can be an overall solid veteran presence that is a go-to for Mike Glennon in certain game situations.