Victor Cruz is an extremely rare professional. Undrafted and unheralded when he came into the league, he has become one of the most popular and important players on last year’s Super Bowl winner – the New York Football Giants. Even though he is not getting paid enough in relation to the value he provides to his team; Victor has said he will not hold out for more money. “You play this game as a kid for the love of the game, for the love of the sport, and the love of being around your friends” he told Pro Player Insiders when he sat down with us yesterday.
He also has some advice for players that don’t hear their name called this weekend: “Just stick to your dream and keep that passion. Don’t get overly involved about money and things like that. When you play this game you play for the love and that would be my advice to anybody that goes through what I went through [not being drafted].”
“I remember being on that couch watching the draft; seeing a lot of names go by,” Cruz said. “I was excited for some of guys that I knew, some guys that I trained with. I was just basically waiting for my opportunity. Unfortunately my name was not called during that draft, but I got my opportunity right after the draft ended as a free agent with the Giants and I just made the most of it.”
He certainly made the most of his chance last season, where he caught 82 balls for 1,536 yards, a Giants franchise record. He also had 9 touchdowns, emerging as one of the most exciting slot receivers in the NFL.
Now that he is a true household name, he’s enjoying using his platform to make a difference. “We [in the NFL] are put in a position where people see us, they see our faces and they want to know more about us. We need to stay out there as much as possible doing positive things in the community, working with local charities or whatever else you want to dip your hand into. Just make sure you do it in a positive light, and everything will take care of itself.”
Thanks to Scottie Graham who contributed to this piece