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N.Y. Giants’ Victor Cruz: Josh Norman shouldn’t expect a warm welcome in New York City

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BROOKLYN — Typically at celebrity charity sporting events, the atmosphere is pretty positive where athletes are cheered for their work in communities. That wasn’t the case for Josh Norman in Brooklyn on Thursday night.

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz says that’s what the Washington Redskins’ newly-recruited cornerback should expect when he visits the Big Apple.

“He knew that coming into New York that he’s not going to get the love that he thought he would [at a charity game],” Cruz told NBC Sports.

Norman got a loud chorus of boos ringing through the Barclays Center when he was announced in attendance for the Roc Nation charity basketball game by emcee Angie Martinez. Martinez pleaded with the fans in the stadium to show some support, saying “C’mon folks, it’s for charity,” but the jeers only got louder.

The 28-year-old, who signed a five-year, $75-million deal with the Redskins this summer, has a simmering rivalry forming with Cruz’s teammate Odell Beckham Jr. which reared itself publicly again after some recent comments. Cruz, who is raring to go after nearly two seasons on the sideline, says that he’s excited to now be involved in the rivalry himself.

“It’s going to be fun playing him twice a year,” he said with a slight grin.

As for Cruz’s recovery, the 29-year-old who inspired the Giants to a Super Bowl win in 2012 is aiming to prove that he’s back to full fitness.

“I’m extremely excited to [get the season started]. I’m excited to just be out there, having a presence, running routes again…It’s great to feel like an athlete again,” he said.

While some have suggested that the odds are against Cruz in his road to recovery, he insists that he can help get the Giants back to their best.

“Feeling good, I’m running around and I’m at 100 percent…I just want to get into camp and put everything behind me and be positive,” Cruz said. “[I help bring] that leadership, the plays that I make every week. Being able to make a difference, not only for myself but for my teammates as well.”

When asked specifically about the Giants playoff chances, he confidently replied, “Absolutely, [the Giants can make playoffs].”

Giants fans will hope that both Cruz and the Giants can get back on track after years of struggling.

Vince Young wants to play again, hires agent Leigh Steinberg

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Vince Young is hoping his football career isn’t over.

Young has hired agent Leigh Steinberg, who announced on Twitter today that Young has a “dream of playing more football.”

That Steinberg used the word “dream” suggests that he and Young realize it will be an uphill battle to get back to the NFL. Young hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2011, when he threw four touchdown passes and nine interceptions for the Eagles. He has spent time with the Bills, Packers and Browns since then but never made it past the preseason.

The fledgling Spring League has already said it would be interested in Young, so he’s got someone interested in him. But the Spring League is a long, long way from the NFL. It’s highly likely that Young has played his last NFL game, even if, at age 33, he’s not quite ready to say definitively that he’s done.

Report: NFL invited Chad Kelly to Combine, then rescinded invitation

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Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly was not invited to the Scouting Combine. Or perhaps he was invited, only to later learn it was a non-vite or an un-vitation.

According to Bill Polian of ESPN, Kelly initially was invited to the Combine, only to have that invitation rescinded by the league office. Polian, who signed Chad’s uncle Jim Kelly in 1986 and has been close to Kelly’s family for decades, indicated that the family isn’t sure why the invitation was rescinded.

It’s obvious why Kelly won’t be at the Combine: The NFL implemented a new rule this year that players who have been convicted of violent crimes won’t be permitted, and Kelly pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct two years ago as part of a case in which he was initially accused of punching two people, threatening to shoot up a bar with an AK-47 and resisting arrest.

What’s unclear is why the league would initially invite Kelly, only to rescind that invitation later. It may be that this new policy hasn’t been thoroughly considered, and the league is still deciding which types of offenses merit exclusion from the Combine. A disorderly conduct plea might not necessarily keep a player from the Combine, but when that plea stemmed from an incident in which the player was initially accused of violence and serious threats, the NFL steers clear.