Wide receiver Victor Cruz is tantalizing NFL teams as a restricted free agent this offseason. This means the New York Giants have some built-in safeguards against losing the dynamic playmaker, but it doesn't make quarterback Eli Manning any less concerned, or any less willing to help if need be.
Manning would be more than happy to help release some of the financial pressure between the Giants and the salary cap by restructuring his own contract, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com reported Wednesday. Youngmisuk notes, though, that no conversations of the sort between the team and their signal-caller have taken place at this time.
Here's part of Manning's pitch from the ESPN New York story:
"That is kind of up to the Giants and what they want to do," Manning said. "I am always up for listening and doing whatever is best for the team to put us in a [situation] to win more championships."
As for those safeguards, the Giants have Cruz on a first-round tender. That means not only do they get the chance to match a potential outside offer but would receive a first-round pick from any squad that does sign Cruz.
The deadline for the rest of the NFL to sign Cruz to an offer sheet this offseason is Friday, April 19. If nothing happens before then, Cruz returns to the Giants for the 2013 season. Manning, and of course Cruz, would like to make his tenure with the Giants a lot longer than that.
In 2012, Cruz caught 86 passes for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has 2,628 receiving yards and 19 touchdown catches over his two-year run in New York.