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New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Works Out with Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks & Louis Murphy at Duke

April 10th, 2013 at 6:33 PM
By Doug Rush

'Victor Cruz' photo (c) 2011, scott mecum - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ The New York Giants continue to work to lock up wide receiver Victor Cruz this offseason and the contract negotiations have not stopped the 26-year-old Paterson native from preparing with his teammates for the upcoming season.

Cruz took part in a voluntary workout along with Giants' teammates Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and Louis Murphy this past week at Duke University in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy.

Along with the Giants players, Denver Broncos quarterback and Manning's older brother, Peyton Manning, brought Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker along with him for the workout.

Duke's head coach Dave Cutcliffe has a very close relationship with both Manning brothers, as he was Peyton's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach while attending the University of Tennessee and Eli's head coach while attending Ole Miss. As such, it made sense for Cutcliffe to allow two of his student quarterbacks to come back to his college campus and allow them to bring their teammates to work on their routes and timing as part of the Manning event.

Also in attendance at Duke was Chris Mortensen from ESPN, who talked to Eli about the Cruz contract situation and how he felt his star receiver would get it resolved.

"I know he wants to get everything finished and be with the Giants and get back to work and so it was nice to get them here for a few days to work on thing, Manning said."

With reports of Cruz looking for $10-11 million annually per season from the Giants, he did tweet a very mysterious message in which it said, "believe none of what you hear and half of what you see."

Earlier in the offseason, Cruz switched agencies, as he hired Tom Condon, who took over negotiations between him and the Giants. Condon is also the agent for current Giants Manning, Mark Herzlich and Mathias Kiwanuka.

Currently, the Giants have an offer for about $7 million-plus per season with around $21 million guaranteed in a deal; a deal that hasn't been taken, nor has been rejected. However, Cruz participating in Manning's event down at Duke can only be an encouraging sign for the Giants and the negotiations going forward.

If Cruz didn't want to be with the team, he wouldn't have voluntarily traveled down to Duke with his teammates to work on routes, timing patterns and chemistry. Also, if Cruz didn't want to be a Giant, he would be sitting at home, holding out until he got a deal done. But he isn't doing that.

The Giants placed a first-round tender on Cruz, in which teams have until April 19 to put in an offer for. If a team doesn't sign Cruz before then, he can either continue to negotiate a deal with the team or accept the tender, which would pay him approximately $2.879 million.

The Giants quarterback sounds very hopeful of a deal getting done before the start of the 2013 season, and we at Giants 101 are hopeful of a deal as well. Which is why we think Cruz voluntarily going down to the Manning Academy is a good sign of things going forward of a potential deal happening.

Also…

Tags: Football, Hakeem Nicks, Louis Murphy, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Peyton Manning, Tom Condon, Victor Cruz, Wes Welker

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16 Responses to “New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Works Out with Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks & Louis Murphy at Duke”

  1.  Dan Peterson says:

    Guess he really was at Duke!

    Great sign, also awesome to see Murphy getting into it.

  2.  kujo says:

    Please…really want this long national crisis to be over.

  3.  MentalHockey says:

    Just some quick questions:

    1. Did Steve Smith make the Pro Bowl?
    2. What are we doing with the Saints 1st Rounder?
    3. Is a team going to give Cruz! an offer sheet?

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Yes, good news that Cruz was working with Eli. One question, though: Where was Randle? Not happy to hear he wasn’t there. Combined with the rumors about his work ethic last season that starts to sound like a potential problem. No doubt the kid has talent. Does he have the desire? That is yet to be seen.

    •  Begiant says:

      Yeah I was concerned about that as well. I will also add that Jernigan better have a good reason for not being there too.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Yep, that too.

        •  kujo says:

          Just because they weren’t reported to be there doesn’t mean they weren’t. I thought I read that there was a whole bunch of WRs from each team there, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the lesser-known ones weren’t named specifically by ESPN.

          •  GmenMania says:

            Also, these were the receivers Eli BROUGHT with him. Not sure whether it was a completely open thing. Maybe Randle and Jernigan simply didn’t have the option to go. Interesting that Eli took Murphy instead of Randle though.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    And let me just say that I love the Murphy signing. Never mind that his speed can take the top off the defense and open things up underneath for Nicks and Cruz. I think he is a very promising player. He was “special” at Florida and may have suffered from the chaos in Oakland his first few years there. I think he can still be a good receiver.

    Murphy and Rivers and Hill are my candidates for “the most pleasant surprise” on the team in 2013.

  6.  Hanshi says:

    The Manning Passing Academy is in July. Someone somewhere got the name of this wrong.
    http://www.manningpassingacademy.com/

  7.  Dirt says:

    Wait, I thought Cruz was a greedy, selfish scvmbag. Oh well, now he’s a saint again.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Nope. I don’t think anyone said Cruz was a bad guy, just that he had to be stupid to not sign the offer after the 19th.

      My theory remains that Eli went to Cruz and said “Look, I want you to stay here and you want to stay here, so fire this idiot who is repping you and I’ll get Tom Condon to take you on. He and John Mara and Jerry Reese have always been able to make fair deals, and I can probably help get it done with a restructuring that makes sense for everyone too.” Now, whether everything works out is probably dependent on Cruz making a smart choice and signing long-term rather than making 2013 a nightmare for the team and himself.

      No one thinks he’s a bad guy. Some of us think he has overvalued himself and may play too cute in this situation and get burned while also hurting the team. But his showing up in Durham is a very good sign. Like many others, I still believe they will get the deal done and Cruz will be with the Giants for at least another 4-5 years. But until he signs, it can all still go wrong.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        btw, he STILL needs to sign before the draft or he puts the team in a bad situation and then his future with the Giants may be out of his hands. If Reese has to use a draft pick on a receiver before the fourth round then I seriously doubt Cruz gets offered a reasonable contract after 2013 by the Giants, who will also not franchise him.

  8.  jfunk says:

    For some reason, I really want a crazy cheesy crust pizza right now.

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