The New York Giants have had an abysmal season, with plenty of fault to go around, but Landon Collins did not mince words regarding Eli Apple.
After being a sleeper Super Bowl contender during the preseason, the New York Giants are far closer to the first overall pick in the 2018 draft with a 2-13 record. There’s plenty of blame to go around, from an already fired head coach and general manager, the continued decline of Eli Manning, injuries to wide receivers and just general underachievement across the board.
Second-year cornerback Eli Apple, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2016 draft, has made himself into a lightning rod for criticism. Tape has shown a notable lack of effort/interest in tackling at times, he missed time due to a personal issue and a hip injury and he most recently drew ire for tweeting from the sideline during a Week 14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
After playing most of Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Apple did not play any defensive snaps last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. That would point to being back in the doghouse, if he ever left it, and Giants safety Landon Collins had harsh words regarding Apple during a Tuesday radio interview with Bob Wischusen on 98.7 FM ESPN Radio in New York.
Giants cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins were suspended by the team at different points this season, so for Collins to call out Apple individually stands out. Collins also praised the aforementioned veterans in virtually the same breath as calling out Apple.
“That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys, [Rodgers-Cromartie] and [Jenkins], I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do.”
Apple’s future with the Giants is definitely up in the air. He has two years left on his rookie contract, at a total base salary of a little over $4.3 million, with a fifth-year option for 2020 which the team has to make a decision on after next season.
While he’s young enough to make other teams believe he can be fixed, Apple will be a hard player to trade during the offseason. So a new Giants general manager may be left to cut a first-round pick he did not make and absorb whatever salary cap implications that comes with that in order to remove a player who has made a teammate offer an incredibly blunt assessment in a public forum.