Former Saints CB Eli Apple Signed By Division Rival Carolina
The Carolina Panthers have signed former New Orleans Saints cornerback Eli Apple according to multiple reports on Thursday. Apple had been with the Saints for the last two seasons before hitting the free agent market this spring. He had agreed to a multi-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders early in the signing period, but the details of the agreement could not be finalized.
Apple came into the league as the 10th overall draft pick in the 2016 draft out of Ohio State by the New York Giants. He played in 30 games with the Giants, starting 23, intercepting one pass and breaking up 20 throws while recovering 5 fumbles and forcing two. They traded him to the Saints five games into the 2018 season in exchange for a 4th round draft choice.
The 24-Yr old Apple started 25 games for New Orleans in the last two seasons, intercepting 2 passes, breaking up 13, while forcing a fumble and recovering another. He teamed with former Ohio State teammate Marshon Lattimore to form one of the better cornerback tandems in the league and opposing quarterbacks completed less than 54% of their throws when targeting Apple. He had a spectacular start to the 2019 season before suffering a knee injury at mid-season that limited his effectiveness down the stretch of the year.
Apple’s signing fills a major need for the division rival Panthers, while leaving lingering concerns about the Saints depth at this position behind talented starters Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins.