Eli keeps checking to see if Cruz has signed elsewhere
Eli Manning says he's like every other Giants fan, checking various media outlets for the latest news on Victor Cruz's contract situation.
"I check the papers every morning to make sure no one else has offered him a contract," the quarterback said at a Samsung event on Wall Street Wednesday. "It is nerve-racking though, he is anxious. I know he has been dealing with this contract issue for a long time, last year and end of this … I know he wants it just settled and wants to get back to playing football and just worrying about that."
Manning said he didn't know Cruz switched to his super-agent, Tom Condon, until he read it in the newspaper. But now he's hoping their shared representation will help grease the wheels on the receiver's negotiations with the Giants.
"I’ve been sending a few texts to him, yeah, 'Hey, get this done. Make sure he stays with us. Obviously, I want Victor back with the Giants. ... I think, obviously, Tom is the best in the business, he has worked with the Giants on a number of players, so I think they trust him. And he knows what the best way [is] to get Victor to stay with the Giants for hopefully a long time."
Though Manning hasn't been approached by the team about restructuring his contract -- which runs until 2015 and pays him a base salary of $13 million in 2013 -- the two-time Super Bowl champ said he's "always up for listening and figuring out what I can do to help the cause."
Manning, who echoed similar sentiments as coach Tom Coughlin and owner John Mara, is holding out hope that Cruz and the Giants can reach an agreement soon.The quarterback believes Cruz's local ties could sway the receiver back to the team.
"I would think he would want to stay in this area," Manning said of Cruz, who is from Paterson, N.J. "I mean, he's from New Jersey, he's right in his backyard. I think he likes to be in the spotlight here in New York and all the things it has to offer. But in the end, if another team comes in and throws a big contract at him then you've got to make those decisions. I think he likes being here, I think he fits very well into our offense. I think he realizes that in what he's been able to do and the success. You never know, if you go to another offense, maybe it doesn't fit as well to your style. He fits very well here and hopefully he stays here."
Here are some other tidbits from Manning:
David Wilson filling in for Ahmad Bradshaw?
"David has a lot of talent, a lot of upside, and I think last year, giving him some experience and the end of the season playing more, I think was very helpful. I think it will be a big offseason for him, come in in April, really learn the ins and outs of the offense, get a lot of work and we’ve just got to see what’s the best style for him. How we’re going to get the ball in his hands in different ways, and see if we can use his speed and his features the best for our offense."
On Hakeem Nicks' progress
"Yeah, Hakeem is doing well. Talked to him the other day, and he’s training and getting ready, and he’ll be ready when we start the spring, he’ll be full go and running, so that’s good."
On losing so many guys through free agency
"Every year it's difficult. You're going to lose some guys, some great teammates. You lose Ahmad, a guy you've won two championships with. Just a tough guy, been a great player for us. It is tough. Just kinda that staple you've had in the offense for a while. That's just kinda the nature of the game. The longer you play, going into my 10th year, you're going to lose some guys that you've been playing eight or nine years with. And you're not just losing good teammates, you're losing good friends. You kinda just learn to deal with it. Someone new's going to come in and we've got a job to do. And that's to keep trying to go win games."
Are you worried about not re-signing free-agent Kevin Boothe?
"Obviously I don't know what's happening with Kevin, how that's gonna work out. Some of it, you've just gotta sit and wait. You come back in April and you kinda see who's going to be playing where and how it's all gonna work out."
On having a new tight end for a fourth straight year
"Well I guess we've gotten accustomed to it. We'll get back working and you know, get him in, start teaching him the offense and hopefully he picks it up quickly where he can come in right away. Our tight ends have done a good job the last couple years getting some big catches for us, scoring some touchdowns, so hopefully he can come in and do the same."