Eli Apple is Not Worth the Time
The Eli Apple 2017 saga came to an end Wednesday, as the New York Giants announced his suspension for the remainder of the season.
In a press release, interim general manager Kevin Abrams announced that Apple’s suspension was due to “a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team.” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the suspension stems from Apple getting into an argument with a coach and refusing to take the field with the scout team. Jordan Raanan and Dan Graziano of ESPN confirmed that Apple got into it with cornerback coach Tim Walton, where the cornerback had to be held back by teammates.
How Apple’s Downward Spiral Started
When Ben McAdoo was still the head coach, he held a film session where he would call out players who were not playing up to par. Apple was prominently featured in this meeting, where McAdoo and various players criticized his play this season. The second-year cornerback did not take the constructive criticism well, as he threatened to walk out of the team facility.
Apple has not necessarily lived up to his top-ten selection in 2016, as he was torched by opposing wide receivers this season. Due to this, as well as his behavior issues and injuries, was inactive for four consecutive games. In Week 16 against the Arizona Cardinals, Apple failed to log a single defensive snap, as he worked primarily on special teams.
The Sideline Tweeting Incident
In Week 14 against the Dallas Cowboys, interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo declared Apple was a healthy scratch. During the game, the Ohio State product was tweeting as the game was in progress. Most notably, Apple retweeted a video of Cowboys running back and fellow Ohio State Rod Smith scoring a long touchdown to ice the game.
Not only that, but someone tweeted Apple, asking why he wasn’t playing. Apple replied by saying, “I’m too healthy.”
Apple admitted that it was a mistake on his part, and the Giants fined him an undisclosed amount of money for the incident.
The Beef With Collins
During these tumultuous events, Apple was getting advice from various other teammates, such as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Brandon Marshall, on how to handle the negative times professionally. Strong safety Landon Collins told the media said that he has had “several conversations,” with Apple. However, when the sophomore corner was approached by media members about Collins’ quote, Apple denied ever having conversations with the All-Pro safety.
Collins then proceeded to go on Twitter to call out Apple in a subtle tweet.
It did not end there, as this past Tuesday night, Collins made an appearance on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio New York, and Collins was asked about whether there should be changes in the defensive backfield. The third-year safety then referenced Apple without using his name, which sent shockwaves through social media.
There’s only just one corner that … needs to grow, and we all know who that is,” said Collins. “That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys, [Rodgers-Cromartie] and [Jenkins], I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do.
“But that first pick … he’s a cancer.”
Fallout From “Cancer” Comment
On Wednesday, Collins sent out an apology through Twitter regarding his comments towards Apple.
The proverbial fire appeared to be put out, especially with the following comments from Spagnuolo, who weeks ago suggested that the two players could sort things out.
“[Landon and I] had a quick conversation this morning and then I had a quick conversation with Eli,” said Spagnuolo. “And then all three of us had a really good conversation and it was very productive and I’ll just leave it at that. It’s between them and they were really great.”
During multiple attempts by the media to ask Apple about Collins’ apology on Wednesday in the open locker room session, the corner evaded them. On one pass-by, Apple replied with, “I gotta take a sh–,” where he then grabbed his rear-end before leaving the locker room.
Hours later, Apple was suspended for the final game of the season.
Ever since he was drafted tenth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, there was criticism of Apple’s skills, especially with that high of a pick. Despite the humorous quip by a scout saying that Apple couldn’t cook for himself, the one that sticks out now is that he, “has no life skills.” Looking through this timeline, the quote appears to fit in the proverbial puzzle.
Due to his suspension, Apple could have cost himself the guaranteed money he is owed in 2017, 2018, and 2019. In his contract, it states the guaranteed money can be void if the player is suspended. It also says that if, “player engages in conduct reasonably judged by the Club to adversely affect or reflect on Club, in Club’s sole discretion,” as reported by Graziano. If Apple is released, he would lose out on his guaranteed $1,827,484 in 2018, as well as $2,516,226 in 2019.
Collins and Apple appear to be like oil and water, and the next general manager will have a choice to make. Keep the two time Pro Bowl safety and 2017 recipient of the George Young Good Guy Award? Or the former first round pick with immaturity issues? Due to all that has gone on, it may be an easy one for the next leader of the Giants regime. Apple may find his way out of the Giants organization after just two seasons.