WR Cruz retires from NFL, joins ESPN

The Sports Xchange

August 21, 2018 at 12:13 pm.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz announced Tuesday that he is retiring from the NFL and joining ESPN as a league analyst.

Cruz declared his intentions in a video on Uninterrupted.

“As I officially close one chapter of my life and begin another, I could not be more thrilled to join another championship team at ESPN,” the 31-year-old Cruz said in a statement. “I’m excited to get started and share my insight and analysis with the viewers and fans of the NFL.”

Cruz spent six seasons with the New York Giants before signing with the Chicago Bears in 2017. He had big campaigns from 2011-2013, catching 241 passes for 3,626 yards and 23 touchdowns in 46 games.

A Pro Bowl selection in 2012, Cruz had 21 receptions for 269 yards in four playoff games and caught a touchdown pass in the Giants’ 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.

But Cruz’s production decreased, largely because of injuries. He had 39 catches for 586 yards and one touchdown in 2016, when he appeared in 15 games, including 12 starts.

“Congrats on your retirement @teamvic! #OnceAGiantAlwaysAGiant,” the Giants wrote on Twitter.

Cruz was released by the Giants in February 2017 before signing with the Bears, who cut him prior to the start of the season.

“My journey hasn’t been the easiest,” Cruz said in the video. “It definitely had its ups and downs, and some rough patches. This last chapter of my life was a great one. To win a Super Bowl, to play in a Pro Bowl and to have my daughter born throughout all of this as well.”

Cruz, who will make his ESPN debut on Wednesday, recorded 303 receptions for 4,549 yards and 25 touchdowns.

“Victor is passionate about the NFL, and we’ve long been impressed with his ability to connect and engage with fans. He has a deep knowledge of the game and experience playing at the highest levels, so we expect him to be an impactful voice,” ESPN’s senior coordinating producer Seth Markman said.