Cruz and a group of Giants wide receivers, including star Odell Beckham Jr., took a private jet to Florida after their regular-season finale against the Washington Redskins. A picture surfaced the following morning with most of them shirtless on a yacht with celebrities.
The veteran of the group, Cruz conceded in a podcast with SNY that the trip wasn't the best idea.
"Looking back on it, it definitely wasn't worth it," Cruz said on the podcast.
"At the end of the day, you want to put your mind in a place where you want to succeed in whatever the next task is, especially in a football setting and a football atmosphere to just win a game. Granted, it's New Year's Day and parts of you just want to like ... and you're an adult and you [pay] your own bills and it's an off day, so you want to just enjoy yourself. I think the fact the photo made it ... a picture is worth a thousand words."
The Giants receivers spent the next few days answering or deflecting questions about their spontaneous getaway. They then struggled in a 38-13 playoff loss to the Packers.
Beckham dropped a pair of passes, including a potential first-quarter touchdown, and reportedly punched a hole in the wall at Lambeau Field after the loss. Rookie Sterling Shepard also had a rough game as the Giants' offense struggled to score points.
Although the players vehemently denied after the loss that the Miami trip had any effect on their performance or the outcome of the game six days later, it still was an easy target for critics.
It was an unnecessary distraction that put extra pressure on Beckham and the wide receivers to perform. Eli Manning admitted the following day that Beckham may have put too much pressure on himself in his first career playoff game.
Beckham finished with four catches on 12 targets for 28 yards. He had a pair of drops and failed to corral several other catchable passes. Cruz finished with three catches for 30 yards.
It wasn't that the Giants wide receivers broke any rules by going on the trip; coach Ben McAdoo was adamant about it being their off day. The Giants players didn't need to be at the facility on Monday and were back at work the following morning without incident. The whole situation just proved to be an unnecessary and avoidable talking point leading into the game.
"You just have to understand the market you're in and where you're playing," Cruz said. "Those are all things that are going to be put under a microscope and nitpicked until it's over and until you win. And when you win, OK, all is well again.
"When you lose, they're going to find those things to pinpoint and blame."