The New York Giants find themselves in an extremely unfortunate situation at the moment. Despite loading up at the cornerback position over the past two seasons, DeAndre Baker’s legal issues have now once again left the 5th-worst secondary in the NFL from a season ago with numerous question marks.
Baker has yet to turn himself in to authorities as of this moment. However, a suspension or a release from the Giants is not far out of the question.
Losing a 1st-round talent in Baker would certainly be a massive blow to the Giants’ secondary, and a void that would need filling. Would New York dare entertain the idea of reuniting with a former top-10 pick of their own to help soften the blow?
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Eli Apple Back in the Big Apple?
Is it farfetched? Very likely. However, as we sit here at the halfway point of May, the Giants don’t have the benefit of being choosey. The majority of serviceable free agent cornerbacks are no longer on the market.
That is, of course, aside from former Giants 2016 10th-overall pick Eli Apple, who saw his agreed-upon deal with the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this offseason fall through.
Apple is far from perfect, his career 63.4 PFF grade average is further testament to that. However, he did seem to grow as a player on and off the field during his tenure with the New Orleans Saints.
Most importantly, he would come cheap and with vastly fewer expectations in his potential second run with the Giants. The previously agreed upon one-year deal Apple had with the Raiders was for a meager $6 million. For comparison, fellow free-agent cornerback Logan Ryan is said to be in search of a deal closer to the $10 million range.
One main reason for Apple’s downfall in New York was the belief amongst the organization and the fan base that he could and should develop into a top-tier corner in this league. However, it’s evident that he was indeed overdrafted, a notion that was portrayed in NFL circles the moment the G-Men pulled the trigger on him four years ago.
Now, in 2020, the Giants are no longer in search of a lockdown CB1. That’s what they signed former Carolina Panthers corner James Bradberry this offseason to do. Instead, New York is in search of serviceable bodies they can deploy in sub-packages to go along with the likes of intriguing talents such as Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Julian Love and Darnay Holmes.
Apple’s Connection to Current Organization is Minimal, in a Good Way
Eli Apple endured a tumultuous two and a half year run in New York as a 1st-round pick out of Ohio State. Hoped to become the Giants lockdown cornerback for years to come, the former Buckeye failed exponentially to live up to expectations.
His on-field play was straight-up bad at times. Furthermore, he took part in numerous public spats with fellow teammates, including former captain Landon Collins, who referred to Apple as a “cancer,” subsequently being suspended from the team.
The Giants ultimately gave up on Apple midway through the 2018 season, shipping him off to New Orleans for a 4th and 7th-round draft pick.
Current team general manager Dave Gettleman is the man that pulled the trigger on the Apple trade. However, he is not the man that drafted Apple to New York. That honor, of course, goes to Jerry Reese. The coach that suspended Apple during his time with the Giants, Pat Shurmur, is also no longer with Big Blue.
A reunion of Apple and the Giants could be beneficial for both parties, and a fresh start for the once-maligned draft pick. That is, as long as they both come in with tempered expectations.
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