EAST RUTHERFORD —The Giants have released two of their most popular players.

Longtime wide receiver Victor Cruz was released by the team today along with Rashad Jennings, who was the team's leading rusher in 2016.

“Victor is one of the great stories of the National Football League. He came in here and earned everything that he’s gotten. It has been amazing to see him grow from an undrafted free agent to a Pro Bowl player and one of our go-to guys during the Super Bowl XLVI run. He will always be one of the great Giants," general manager Jerry Reese said.

Cruz has played his entire career so far with the Giants after playing college football for UMass Amherst and signing as an undrafted free agent. He missed much of the 2014 season after he tore a tendon in 2014 but played 15 games this past season.

"The release of Cruz and running back Rashad Jennings is not a surprise and in truth was expected. As popular as he was Cruz is not the productive player he once was because of injuries and has lost a step which took away his playmaking ability," Kevin Williams, of the Shore Sports Network, said.

Cruz called his time with the Giants an "amazing journey." The Paterson native said "I pretty much grew up in front of the eyes of this entire organization. The Giants fan base, the community, my hometown, my family. I grew up there. It’s very much a family atmosphere and it’s very much like leaving your family. That’s what it feels like.

"I think there is still a lot of miles left on this body. I’ll definitely be searching and looking for work as the time comes.”

Jennings joined the Giants in 2014 as a free agent and despite missing three games early in the season, he led the team in 2016 with 181 rushing attempts for 593 yards and three touchdowns.

"After a couple of days, I’m going to be excited for the next leg and opportunity that I get," Jennings said.

The moves allow the Giants to save about $10 million in salary cap space and get a bit younger in going forward, Williams said.

"Depending on the market for Cruz, it’s not out of the question that the Giants would bring him back at a considerably lesser salary," Williams said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.



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