There’s a fairly common dynamic in pro football that arises when a veteran player wants to keep playing but no one wants him to play for their team. Like Bruce Willis in the final scene of The Sixth Sense (1999 says, “Spoiler alert”), the player often is the last one to realize his career is dead.
There’s nothing wrong with the player hanging on. Sometimes, it takes time to come to grips with the dramatic change that comes from 20-plus years of football ending. Regardless, it happens — and it’s currently happening to receiver Victor Cruz.
“I just love the game,” Cruz told ESPN.com on Tuesday at an event in Manhattan. “I think I can still play. I don’t want to exhaust all of that before I fall off.”
He has a hard date in mind for when he’ll move on.
“Once that deadline comes, if nothing has happened, I’ll hang them up,” Cruz said, hinting that the bell will toll for good near the start of training camp.
If he changes his mind, Cruz could get a shot in the Alliance of American Football. Though primarily a developmental league, the AAF surely would take as many players with name recognition as possible. And Cruz would get a chance to prove that he can still play.
Only 31, Cruz’s career became derailed when he tore a patellar tendon during the 2014 season. He missed all of 2015 due to a calf injury, played 15 games with 12 starts for the Giants in 2016, and did not play in a regular-season game last year.