Until the April 19 deadline to negotiate with other teams’ restricted free agents passes or Victor Cruz signs a deal with the Giants, there will be whispers about the possibility that the wide receiver will wind up on another team.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning doesn’t believe that will happen. During an interview with WFAN in New York on Wednesday, Manning said that he has spoken with Cruz and made plans to start working out with a player that the quarterback expects will be catching his passes in 2013.
“I do, I do. I think (that’s) what I have to believe and what I want to believe, just because he’s such an important part of our offense,” Manning said. “I think he wants to be in New York, you know, in his hometown. So I hope it all works out.”
Given the fact that NFL teams have recently been as interested in pursuing restricted free agents as they have been in charging less than full price for exhibition games played by guys who will be driving UPS trucks in a week’s time, Manning’s belief is easily justified.
If another team did break ranks and make a play for Cruz, the Giants might have to scramble to find the money needed to match the deal. Restructuring Manning’s contract would be one possible way to make that happen, but Manning said there have been no talks on that front to this point.