Extra Points: Cruz, Bengals, Eagles

The Giants are releasing wide receiver Victor Cruz, which will save them $7.5MM in 2017. Theoretically, they could attempt to bring back the 30-year-old at a lower cap charge next season, but there’s “no indication” they have any interest in doing that, writes Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com. Cruz spoke in the past tense about his six-year run with the Giants on Monday, saying: “I did some great things there. There are so many experiences, times and moments that I shared in that building with that team in that jersey. Those can’t be replaced or forgotten. I’m happy I have those moments to look back on.”

Cruz will ceremonially retire as a Giant someday and later end up in their Ring of Honor, opines Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. His next step, though, will be to head to the open market, where he could find a fit with the Panthers, suggests Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. There’s already a connection between Carolina and Cruz: Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman was the Giants’ director of pro personnel when Big Blue signed the wideout as an undrafted free agent in 2011.

The Broncos, meanwhile, got virtually no production last season from receivers not named Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders, but they haven’t had any discussions about pursuing Cruz, reports Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post (Twitter link).

More from around the NFL:

  • Despite having over $43MM in cap space, the Bengals are unlikely to make any significant splashes in free agency, per Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com. Odds are greater that Cincinnati will focus on its own soon-to-be free agents – including left tackle Andrew Whitworth, guard Kevin Zeitler, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and receiver Brandon LaFell – writes Terrell, who notes that the club is also expecting to pick up plenty of help via the draft. On top of the picks the Bengals already have, the league could award them three or four compensatory selections this year as a result of the losses they incurred in free agency last offseason.
  • The Eagles are reportedly open to trading linebacker Mychal Kendricks, and it’s a “safe bet” they’ll move him if they’re able to acquire help at receiver, running back or cornerback in return, relays Tim McManus of ESPN.com.
  • Jabrill Peppers is unlikely to be a first-round pick, Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press opines. Peppers’ versatility is an asset, but he doesn’t clearly fit any one position either. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has called the Michigan star “a polarizing prospect” and a “tweener,” although he still has him going in the first round in his mock draft. Falling out of the first round could be good for Peppers, Monarrez argues, because it would put less pressure on him as he works to figure out his best role in the NFL.
  • Falcons defensive pass game coordinator Jerome Henderson was under consideration to become the 49ers’ defensive coordinator before they tabbed Robert Saleh for the role on Monday. Now that he’s not going to San Francisco, Henderson will stay in the same position in Atlanta, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.
  • The Seahawks are parting with assistant linebackers coach Lofa Tatupu, who spent the previous two years on Pete Carroll‘s staff, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Tatupu is better known for his on-field work in Seattle, where he played from 2005-10 and earned three Pro Bowl nods.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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10 comments on “Extra Points: Cruz, Bengals, Eagles

  1. browns

    Mychal Kendricks for Torrey Smith, straight up. 49ers get an ILB for their 3-4 defense to pair with Bowman and the Eagles get the WR they need.

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    • jrkline

      truthfully seems like a pretty good trade for both teams…. not a fan of either but it’s beneficial to both!

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    • szagski13

      IIRC Smith is on a pretty terrible contract right now, I would think San Fran may need to send a Day 3 pick or something like that with him if that’s the case

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    • browns

      Not sure it’s viable any longer any way. Read that San Francisco is going to change to a 4-3 defense, so I doubt they would trade for a LB that struggled in the same defense.

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  2. Jackie

    Hate to see Cruz go.

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  3. Slick62

    Cincy not expected to make splash? Resigning own players and replenishing in draft will not amount to more W’s

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  4. JT19

    I know the article says that Jabril Peppers doesn’t clearly fit one position, but is there a position that someone (other commentors, Connor, or any other writer here) thinks he would be best suited at? I mean I know he was predominantly a CB/RB at Michigan so I would naturely assume he would probably try one of those positions first.

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    • Brock

      He was a safety/LB at Michigan, wroth occasional sprinkles on offense. He’ll have to play safety, likely in the box (probably akin to what Landon Collins did this year) to be most effective.

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  5. korleone74

    i saw Peppers play the last 2 years….theres nothing the kid cant do….line him up as a lb he covers the Te or rb out of the backfield….line him up at free safety and its atleast 5 picks a year….special teams as a gunner and a returner…..play him in 3rd down packages as a rb…blitz him from anywhere….i say this dont let him get to Belichek because then the mad scientist will have him all over the place…..if his 40 and drills register the crazy numbers i think they will he needs to go top 15.

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    • Brock

      If it’s “at least 5 picks a year,” why didn’t he do that in college? He had one pick in 2 years, and he’s not great in man coverage. There’s a reason he’s dropping – he’s not as good as advertised.

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