Victor Cruz rumors: Eli Manning hopes receiver is back with Giants

Rich Schultz

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning hopes that Victor Cruz will be with the Giants in 2013, and is already planning work outs with the former UMass receiver.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz is a restricted free agent, but New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning expects the receiver to be wearing Giants blue next year, according to the New York Post.

Appearing on WFAN, Manning spoke about Cruz.

"We're kind of talking about our planning and when we're going to start working out, when we're going to start throwing and getting ready for this upcoming season," Manning said in a WFAN radio interview Wednesday morning. "And honestly, I hope that he's with the Giants."

Giants fans will be pleased to see that Manning is making plans to work out with Cruz, but the reality of the situation is that workouts between the two have no bearing on his 2013 status with the Giants. NFL teams have until the draft to sign a restricted free agent to an offer sheet, but it seems unlikely that a team will part with a first-round pick and give Cruz a big-money contract extension in the next month.

The Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams were two teams rumored to be interested in signing Cruzt, but both teams have inked players to rich contracts in the past week. Minnesota signed Greg Jennings to bolster its wide receiver corps, while the Rams added Jake Long to shore up their offensive line. The deals will make it difficult for either team to budget a rich contract for Cruz.

Assuming Cruz remains with the Giants, he will earn nearly $2.9 million in 2013 before becoming an unrestricted free agent next spring. The former UMass receiver has been one of the league's best since 2011, with 168 receptions, 2,628 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns for the Giants in the last two years.

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