Ex-Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz spoke about the teams mindset during the 2016 season before he was cut. [Photo: Getty Images]

In an expected move, the Giants released wide receiver Victor Cruz on Monday.

The 30-year-old Cruz exploded onto the scene in his rookie season of 2011, catching 82 balls for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns. The next season he recorded 10 touchdowns and he seemed set for a storied career with the Giants.

A knee injury three years ago, however, changed everything for Cruz. He did not play in the 2015 season, and this past year he caught just 39 balls for 586 yards in 15 games.

The move allowed the Giants to clear a significant amount of cap space as Cruz would have counted for $9.4 million against the cap in 2017.

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