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Manning downplays contract issues, more worried about getting Giants' offense going

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EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey — Eli Manning is more concerned about the New York Giants' scoring rather than his future with the team.

Hours before the first training camp practice Friday, Manning shot down the notion he was in any way worried entering the season in the final year of his contact.

The 34-year-old, two-time Super Bowl MVP said he had no idea about the status of his contract talks, telling those interested to ask the team or his agent, Tom Condon.

Manning, who will earn $19.75 million this season, also isn't keeping track of how much fellow quarterbacks are getting. He seemed unaware that Russell Wilson of Seattle signed a four-year, $87.6 million deal to stay with the Seahawks.

Giants co-owner John Mara said Thursday that he believes that the two sides will eventually get a new deal done. Manning hopes he's right.

"Right now my concern is getting on this practice field for our first practice," Manning said. "I'm excited about that and just let the business side of it just work itself out."

The more important issue for Manning is getting the Giants back on track after missing the playoffs the past three seasons.

If there's a positive heading into this year, it's the Manning-led West Coast offense.

Manning had a bounce-back season in 2014, throwing 30 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and this year could be even more exciting.

Game-breaking receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is healthy for his second season. Victor Cruz is back from a second knee injury, while fellow receiver Rueben Randle seemingly started to catch on in the second half of his third season.

Running backs are deep with Rashad Jennings and former Patriot running back Shane Vereen, who gives Manning a legitimate third-down back.

"Our goal is to try to get 27 to 30 points a game," Manning said when asked about trying to help a Giants' defense that struggled last season. "It's not based on that because of the defense. It's based on what we expect from ourselves. We feel that we have a talented group that can put points on the board, and we've got to go do it."

Manning thinks that this group has the potential to be the Giants most explosive offensive in his 12 seasons.

The one guy who has everybody wondering is Beckham. He had 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in just 12 games, and that has pushed the expectations even higher for the defending offensive rookie of the year.

Beckham has his own game plan.

"Just go out and do the same things that you did last year," he said. "You pray and hope for the same results, and that's where you leave it at."

Manning is happy to have him ready for the start of training camp. He missed most of it and the first four weeks of the season last year with a hamstring injury.

"It's not just about him, it's about all the receivers," Manning said. "All the receivers growing, myself growing within the offense and being able to put guys in different positions, move them around, create different matchups, different looks and get the best out of all of them."

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