The Las Vegas Raiders‘ proclivity for signing high-profile drafts disappointments continued on Wednesday. According to Jerry McDonald, the team has agreed to terms on a deal with former New York Giants and New Orleans Saints cornerback Eli Apple.
The former Ohio State Buckeye hasn’t necessarily found the same success in the NFL that he had in college. He was selected by the Giants with the 10th overall pick in 2016 and was supposed to quickly turn into a shutdown cornerback. However, that wasn’t necessarily the case thanks to some personality issues.
Former teammate Landon Collins once called Apple a “cancer.” That was far from the only issue he had in the locker room as he had problems with coaches and was eventually traded to the New Orleans Saints for pennies on the dollar. He started every game he played for the Saints but hasn’t played up to his status as a top-10 pick. He didn’t have the same issues in New Orleans that he did in New York and starting on a strong defense like that is no small feat. Apple wasn’t the best option available on the cornerback market, but he’s a decent player who should start next to Trayvon Mullen.
Raiders Made Offer to Chris Harris Jr.
Former Denver Bronco Chris Harris Jr. figured to be the Raiders’ top choice at cornerback after they missed out on Byron Jones. According to Aaron Wilson, they offered him a two-year contract, but apparently, the cornerback didn’t want to make the deal. That’s what led to the Apple signing.
Harris Jr. is probably the best player available at the position in the market, but he’s getting up there in age. Apple is only 24 and still has a lot of talent. If the Raiders could get out of him what he showed at Ohio State, he could still be a really good player. The team has strong leadership and good coaches in place. He could thrive in Las Vegas with this squad.
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Are the Raiders Done Adding CBs?
While it appears the Raiders are out on Harris, it would be unwise to completely rule out them signing him. It’s obvious that his market isn’t nearly as big as he must’ve thought it was going to be. There have been several cornerbacks to get big contracts this offseason, but it looks like Harris won’t be one of them.
He could look at his offers and see that the Raiders are the best he’s going to get. Even with the addition of Apple, the team could want to sure up the position even more. Pass defense was definitely not the team’s strength in 2019. It doesn’t appear like Daryl Worley will be returning, so there should be room for both Harris and Apple. One thing is for sure when playing in the AFC West: You can’t have too many good cornerbacks. Expect the Raiders to either add another in the draft or in free agency.