- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Justin Tuck is hoping Victor Cruz will show up at next week's voluntary offseason workout program with the New York Giants and that the restricted free agent's attendance can be a sign of good faith in the receiver's contract negotiations.
A league source told ESPN senior NFL insider Chris Mortensen that Cruz is not expected to attend next week's workout program, but a surge in contract negotiations with the team could change that.
"I have no reason not to [believe Cruz won't be there]," Tuck said at an appearance at an NFL Play 60 event at P.S. 21. "He hasn't said anything as far as why he wouldn't be there, even though, obviously, [there's] the contract situation.
"But for me, I think the biggest way to get things settled is to be there in good faith, I guess," Tuck added. "But I can't answer questions for Victor, he has to do what's best for him. And hopefully, when it's all said and done, he's doing a salsa in a Giants uniform this season. That's all I'm worried about."
Tuck said he has spoken with the restricted free agent, but the two do not talk about Cruz's contract. Cruz is hoping to work out a long-term extension with the Giants. The team tendered him a first-round RFA tender, which allows the option to match any offer made by any team by the April 19 deadline. If the Giants decide not to match a contract offer from another team, they will receive a first-round pick from that team as compensation.
The Patriots made a one-year contract offer to Pittsburgh RFA receiver Emmanuel Sanders this week, and the Steelers have five days to match or receive a third-round pick as compensation. Cruz's side might be hoping that movement in the RFA world might spark negotiations between the Giants and Cruz toward an extension.
The odds, though, are against another team making an offer to Cruz before the deadline, because of the steep price of parting with a first-round pick and signing Cruz to a lucrative contract.
"From everything I've seen from Cruz, he's in great spirits, and he's not letting this contract dispute or contract situation deter him," Tuck said. "He's already training, and I see no reason why he won't be poised to have another great year for us."
Manning worked out with Cruz at Duke University earlier this week and was hoping that he will see Cruz next week at the Giants' facility as well.
"I hope so," Manning said when asked by Mortensen at Duke on Wednesday. "I know he wants everything to get finished and be with the Giants and get back to work. It was great to get him here for few days, and I haven't seen these guys in a while."
Justin Tuck is hoping Victor Cruz will show up at next week's voluntary offseason workout program with the New York Giants and that the restricted free agent's attendance can be a sign of good faith in the receiver's contract negotiations.