New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese has said over and over this offseason that the Giants must protect themselves in the event that wide receiver Victor Cruz does not make a complete recovery from his torn patella tendon. Could one of the two veteran receivers cut by their teams on Friday -- Harry Douglas or Brian Hartline -- give the Giants that protection?
This is what Reese said about Cruz during an interview at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine:
"When a guy had a big injury like Victor had, you can't put all your eggs in his basket. Our doctors said he looks good. I see him down in the training room working out with our trainers and doctors. He looks good. Until you get out there - his game is quickness - until you get out there and move around, you really never know how he's going to recover from that. We're hoping and praying that he's going to come back 100 percent and be the Victor Cruz that we know. But you can't put 100 percent in that basket."
Douglas, 31 next season, has extensive experience in the slot during six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Douglas caught 51 passes in 2014, the second-highest total of his career. He was a third-round draft pick by Atlanta in 2008.
Dave Choate of SB Nation's The Falcoholic, called Douglas "a fairly reliable third option" while in Atlanta:
HD was the kind of player you either loved or hated in Atlanta. Detractors felt that he should have been able to put up better numbers in a pass-friendly offense, especially given that he was surrounded by legitimate talent, and that he was useless in the red zone.
Supporters pointed out that when pressed into action due to injuries, Douglas was a target hog who put up nice numbers, and that when Julio, Roddy and Tony Gonzalez were all in Atlanta and healthy, there weren't a ton of passes left for Douglas. Ultimately, Douglas was a useful player for the Falcons for seven years.
Hartline, who turns 29 next season, has less experience in the slot but has been very productive during six seasons with the Miami Dolphins. He caught 74 passes in 2012, 76 in 2013, but fell off to only 39 receptions in 2014.
Kevin Nogle of SB Nation's Dolphins web site, The Phinsider, said the release of Hartline "does not come as a surprise" since he had "disappeared from the Miami offense" in 2014.
Are you interested in either player, Giants fans?