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Ben McAdoo: “No Accuracy” To Comments From Ex-Giant Victor Cruz

Cruz appears to indicate Giants stopped throwing to him on purpose

NFL: Chicago Bears at New York Giants
Victor Cruz
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo Thursday bristled at the comments from former Giant wide receiver Victor Cruz that the team had intentionally stopped throwing him the ball last season so it would be easier to cut ties at the end of the year.

“I don’t have an answer for that question,” McAdoo said initially. “I have no response for that.”

When pressed, the coach added “there’s no accuracy to it.”

Cruz was a guest during The Breakfast Club on 105.1 FM on Tuesday and suggested the Giants were already plotting the receiver’s exit before the season was over.

“So this year was like ‘look you took a pay cut last year, we want to move in another direction.’ That’s the first thing they said to me [after the season] when I walked in. I felt it all year long. Halfway through the year I’m balling, then the other half I’m not getting the ball and you’re just like, ‘well, what’s going on? Ok, I see what’s happening, they don’t want me here anymore.’ Cause granted, probably a lot of people don’t know this. Let’s say I played well, I’m a 1,000-yard receiver last year, it would have been more difficult from a fan perspective for them to cut me… but if I have 500 yards, whatever the case may be, it’s a little easier on the fans, ‘oh, he didn’t play well, that’s why they cut him.’ And if I played well, they were due to owe me a ton of money [in 2017], so it’s like ‘let’s get Cruz off the books.”

His playing time did decrease somewhat over the second half of the season as the Giants worked in some of the younger receivers along with Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham. In Cruz’s first six games he did not play less than 89 percent of the offensive snaps. Over his last nine games in the regular season, he went over that mark just once and over 80 percent one other time, the regular season finale against Washington.

Cruz then compared his situation to a team sitting a slightly injured player in the last game of the season when he has an incentive bonus in his contract for playing all 16 games.

A follow up question asked whether a team or quarterback would intentionally make themselves worse in order to hold down a player’s numbers and Cruz said he doesn’t believe there’s an explicit order of a Code Red:

“It’s hard to believe. Even just to think about whoever, someone coming up to the quarterback and saying, ‘hey don’t throw it here’ or ‘don’t give it to this guy.’ It’s hard to even fathom that thought, which I don’t even know or think happens. But when you look at the film and look at how it goes down, I mean, it’s the only way.”

Earlier in the interview, Cruz also expressed frustration about being open on plays and not getting the ball. He did put some of that on the structure of the offense and the offensive line when talking about Eli Manning’s struggles:

“Part of that is keeping him upright. You have to put an offensive line in front of him to keep him upright so he can survey the field and make things happen. The past couple years he hasn’t had the amount of time he’s typically had to make the best throws and the best decisions. A lot of it is rushed. That probably played a factor into it.”

Cruz later denied the idea that he was suggesting the Giants sabotaged him on purpose.

Listen to the full interview below.

— Additional reporting from Ed Valentine