Originally Posted by Marvelousmik
Following the interesting debate in this thread, I find myself agreeing with the aspects of a good slot's role as you describe them. Your last 2 sentences describe the slot role -- and the reason it is not an easy one to fill by many teams -- best, in my opinion.
In fact, this challenge was confirmed by Gilbride at the beginning of 2011 season, when asked who was going to fill the Smith role after we all learned of Smith's departure. As of Week 3, prior to the game vs Eagles, he admitted he still had no answer and was still in the process of determining who--if any--on the team was capable of stepping into that role. In fact, it was the reason we picked up Stokely--but then he was quickly injured.
At the time, KG was thinking either Hixon (who went down for the season in the first half of game 2) or Manningham (who was concussed in the same game) were his best chances of developing at least an adequate replacement for Smith.
And the reason he gave for it being so challenging a position to replace was that it is a much more complex position to play well consistently. The reason for this is that it requires not only certain physical attributes (primarily quickness and instinct), but it requires the ability to read the defensive formations in their entirety as it develops after the snap, and to instantly telegraph to his QB his resultant move, much more so than any outside receiver is required to do.
I love what Nicks brings to our receiving corps. He brings more than any Giants receiver I can remember, going back to 1980 (and I was a huge fan of Toomer when he played, but Nicks will surpass all that he did for us, imo). Even though he had a fall off year this year, I see that as aberration due to injury and he will return to form next year and beyond. I believe he is comparable to Fitzgerald and in some ways to Michael Irvin in their respective abilities a "the Playmaker".
But Cruz is a Welker with more height and speed. And, unlike Welker who is 6 years closer to the end of his career, Cruz is just beginning and has shown the ability to learn from mistakes and improve. And he can function at a high level on the outside when asked.
Much--on this board--has been made of his drop to 1100+ yards in 2012 from 1500+ yards in 2011. I think this is very narrow thinking. A superior slot/wide receiver is more valuable to a team than is measured in total yards for a season. And after 2 complete seasons, Cruz has--to most fans at least--proven he is more than any "one hit wonder".
Fact is, if we want to continue to be more like the Giants offense of 2011--and I believe we will--we need both Nicks and Cruz. They embody the phrase "the sum is greater than the parts".
Because of that, in my opinion, Reese wants to find a way to keep Cruz in this off season, and equally wants to find a way to keep Nicks next off season. It will not come down to "either / or" as some on this board fear.
ive noticed no one seems to have recognized that our offensive system also places more emphasis on the slot role. kg's is predicated on the sight adjustment routes and getting the 1v1's to exploit. Usually, well pre Cruz emergence, that was out of the slot. Since SS12 and Cruz have had amazing success out of the slot in KG's offense, teams have placed a much higher priority on defending it. I swear, when i watch other games, i rarely see bracket coverage or a combo coverage scheme on the slot wr like we almost always saw this past season (in part bc teams could with nicks hobbled. teams decided to basically leave either him or hixon/randle in 1v1 coverage). And part of the reason our offense had the struggles it did, was bc those particular games, Cruz was getting doubled effectively, and no one else was capable of threatening the D and sustaining it...
when people try and downplay cruz bc hes a slot wr, they're almost thinking backwards. if anything, cruz's effectiveness out of the slot should be viewed differently than the erst of the league (sans a team like NE who also places a premium on the slot. coincidence both offenses usually rank among the best?) because in our offense, playing the slot isnt some lesser challenge than playing out wide...its as important and its why, imo, the guys we've found who played well out of the slot dont have issues moving out wide
not to mention, the slot wr will usually be the "hot" (when the wr's defender is blitzing) wr...except when teams face us, they recognized cruz was a terror as the hot wr bc it mean he was getting into open space immediately and forcing a safety or corner to tackle him isolated. cruz almost always shakes that and gets huge YAC, so teams fundamentally changed it up...i dunno the #'s but it seemed like defenses went out of their way to ensure cruz wouldnt be the hot route...and its because of how dangerous he is out of the slot...but when he goes out wide, he doesnt suddenly lose his YAC ability either.
It does go beyond productivity I agree with that. But it also goes beyond being a slot receiver or an outside receiver. it has to do with your skill set and what you bring to the table. If desean jackson was a slot receiver he would still make that kind of money because of what he brought to the table at the time of his first contract.
Originally Posted by gumby74
So what does cruz do for our offense? He is a vertical threat, he can score from anywhere on the field and he is dangerous with the ball in his hands. Not only that, but he knows how to talk in front of the media, the fans love him, he doesn't get in off the field trouble and he has yet to miss a game. teams aren't going to over look all of those things and say "well he is a slot receiver. don't pay him". I'd be shocked if him and JR didn't come to an agreement. and if he doesn't get the money from here someone else will pay him.
In summary, is Cruz worth 8-10 million? You bet he's worth every penny. Do we have that kind of money? We do not, but I'm sure he's not going to be ridiculous and ask for that much.
There will be no "shedding money" for Eli or anyone else under contract. The players are entitled to every dime negotiated in their contracts. They can ask for a restructure which just spreads the existing money around over the rest of the contract. But unless they are ready to release a player under contract they are going to get every dime. I'm guessing Eli's not on the waiver wire any time soon.
Originally Posted by TheAnalyst
Here's the problem we fans have. We look at every contract individually. Reese has to look at them all and make hard choices every season. We don't know who he is getting ready to release, ask to restructure, or take a pay cut. He and his team have to evaluate every players' performance, decide what they think is a fair offer, consider what FA will bring, and they decide who stays and who goes.
Originally Posted by Rudyy
It's just a complicated process made all the harder by the CAP. If the CAP is so restrictive for the Giants then players like Will Beatty, Victor Cruz, and Martellus Bennett will be wearing new uniforms in 2013. I'm thinking all three will be here.