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.