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.
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.
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