And the quarterback hopes he will see Cruz at the Giants' practice facility next week when the team gathers for offseason training.
"I hope so," Manning said when asked by ESPN's Chris Mortensen at Duke University. "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 a few days and I haven't seen these guys in a while."
New York Giants
Manning and his brother, Peyton, are at Duke this week to work with several other receivers and Duke's David Cutcliffe, who coached both Manning brothers.
Seeing Cruz and Manning together is a welcome sight -- and it certainly should be a positive sight -- since Cruz's future has been the greatest issue surrounding the Giants. Cruz is a restricted free agent and is hoping to sign a long-term extension with the Giants. He recently signed with agent Tom Condon, who also represents Manning. Condon's clients want to remain together for years to come.
Manning said that Cruz wants "everything to get finished," which could be a good sign that the Giants and the receiver are perhaps making some progress. But that could just be wishful thinking as well.
In the meantime, teams have until April 19 to make a contract offer to Cruz if anybody wants to try to sign the restricted free agent. The Giants would receive a first-round pick as compensation if they opt not to match an offer. But the odds are against a team offering Cruz a lucrative contract and be willing to part with a first-rounder as well.
Manning said he was thrilled to work with Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Louis Murphy, who was signed in free agency. The Giants quarterback wanted to get a head start for next week when the Giants can begin workouts at the facility for training. Nicks' presence also should be a very positive thing considering he was injured last season.
"[I'm] here with Coach Cutcliffe [to] have him work with my mechanics, get everything sharp and get everything prepared," Manning said. "So when we start our workouts next week, I am going there ready to go and improving and ready to get better.
"It has been good work having Louis Murphy, a new guy, having Hakeem Nicks, having these guys here to get some work and get us prepared for this coming season."
So, what do you guys think? Is it a good sign that Cruz is working out with Eli at Duke?