Bill Kostroun/Associated Press
Cornerback Eli Apple will apparently get a chance at a fresh start after running out of opportunities with the New York Giants.
The 2016 first-round pick was reportedly traded to the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday after a series of off-field concerns limited his playing time last year.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the deal.
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Saints traded a 4th-round pick in 2019 and a 7th in 2020 for former Giants’ CB Eli Apple, per source.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported the trade “may just be tip of the iceberg” and that teams think the Giants are “open for business” ahead of the trade deadline on Oct. 30.
Apple appeared in 25 games over his first two seasons, starting 18, while tallying 100 total tackles.
He’s recorded 23 tackles, five passes defended and a forced fumble in five appearances in 2018. Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s 36th-best corner so far this season.
While he had shown flashes of potential while on the field, he also made enemies with his teammates and coaching staff and eventually found himself suspended in Week 17 last season for “a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team.”
According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, he refused to be on the scout team during practice and got into an argument with a coach, leading to the suspension.
Before that, he found himself a healthy scratch for Weeks 11 through 14. He played zero defensive snaps in Week 16 and was relegated to special teams.
All-Pro safety Landon Collins referred to Apple as “a cancer” during a radio interview last December with Bob Wischusen on The Michael Kay Show, via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com.
The Giants had clearly had enough to deal a Top 10 pick from just two-plus years ago. Antonio Hamilton and B.W. Webb will likely compete for the newly available starting job opposite Janoris Jenkins.
Dane Brugler @dpbrugler
Saints are getting closer and closer to an All-Ohio State secondary. Apple joins Marshon Lattimore, Kurt Coleman and Vonn Bell. https://t.co/nuRkITsPEC
Meanwhile, the Saints could end up with a steal in the 23-year-old with tremendous upside. If he can learn from his mistakes, this second chance could allow him to live up to his potential and be a consistent impact player.
It’s a worthwhile gamble for a New Orleans defense that ranks 28th in passing yards allowed per game through seven weeks of the 2018 campaign.