Eli Manning has never been involved in any semblance of a contract squabble with the Giants but he sure sounds as if he knows what Victor Cruz is going through as the receiver remains a no-show at the team’s offseason program.

Manning said he is not going to try to “pry’’ Cruz from his home to get him to the workouts because the franchise quarterback understands the way this negotiating game is played.

“He’s got to do what’s in the best interest of him,’’ Manning said yesterday, “and that’s usually staying away and putting pressure to try to get the deal done.’’

Cruz is staying away from the Giants’ voluntary program, which began this week, because he’s a restricted free agent and thus far has not signed the $2.879 million tender that would keep him with the team for the 2013 season. Cruz is seeking a long-term contract and is looking for more than the Giants have offered — a multi-year deal averaging slightly more than $7 million per year.

There aren’t a lot of options for Cruz, as the restricted free agency period for him to sign an offer sheet with another team expires today. After that, Cruz can 1) accept the standing deal — with at least $12 million in guaranteed money — the Giants are offering; 2) sign the one-year tender or 3) continue to avoid the workouts and hope there’s more money to be squeezed out of the team.

General manager Jerry Reese was asked during his pre-draft press conference if as he shapes the roster he assumes Cruz will be on it.

“I don’t assume anything,” he said. “We’ll see. I can tell you this, when we get ready to play when the season starts we’ll have good players out there. I’m not sure if Victor will be there or not. I don’t assume anything.’’