Saints To Decline Eli Apple’s Option

This will be a prove-it year for cornerback Eli Apple. The Saints will not exercise the former first-round pick’s option for 2020, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

The Saints had until Friday to exercise the 2020 option for Apple, which would have paid him $13.7MM (guaranteed for injury only) in the additional season. Given that Apple has missed time in the past, the extra year would have been a bit of a gamble.

Still, Apple has given the Saints reason to believe in his abilities. After coming over from the Giants in a midseason trade, the 23-year-old (24 in August) logged two interceptions and started in all ten of his games in New Orleans. Apple graded out as just the No. 64 ranked corner in the NFL, according to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus, but it’s clear that the change of scenery has helped him.

For now, Apple will earn just $2.5MM in base pay for 2019, making him a solid value as a starter. If he takes another step forward in 2019, a more lucrative deal could be in his future.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 comments on “Saints To Decline Eli Apple’s Option

  1. rct

    Wouldn’t the 64th ranked corner be below average? If each team regularly plays 3 corners, there’s 96 corners with decent playing time. 64th doesn’t seem like the ‘change of scenery’ did much good.

  2. Decius

    It’s funny how everybody piled on the Giants for trading this guy. Now the Saints decline his option and everybody talks about how smart they are. Double standard? Ya think?

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