The Giants did a lot of work to improve their offense this offseason, but leaving Eli Apple as a starter on defense will come back to haunt the team.
Dave Gettleman made a lot of big moves to help Eli Manning out during the offseason. Unfortunately, he and the New York Giants may pay dearly for one move the team didn’t make. Trusting Eli Apple to rebound from his disastrous 2017 performance is too big a risk for the team to take on.
In fairness to the Giants, the presence of Janoris Jenkins on the other side should keep things pretty simple for Apple. The former Ohio State star did show real promise during his rookie season, but he was nothing short of awful last year. His play was so bad that he was inactive for four games towards the end of last year.
Even worse, Apple was suspended for the final game of the season after getting into a “verbal altercation” with his position coach. His attitude was so poor that safety Landon Collins deemed him to be a “cancer.”
Simply put, this isn’t the type of player the Giants should be counting on as a starter. Keeping Apple around for another season is one thing, trusting him to start opposite Jenkins is quite another.
Even if Gettleman wanted to roll the dice on Apple as a starter, he should have done more to protect the team against a potential implosion by the young corner. The team’s options behind Apple are pretty uninspiring. William Gay is a decent option in the slot, but he struggles mightily when he’s forced to play on the outside. Teddy Williams couldn’t make a significant impact in the Panthers secondary, and it’s highly unlikely he can function as a starter for the Giants.
Expect the Giants to give Apple a shot to get his career back on track, but he’s going to operate with a really short leash. The team should continue to scour the free agent market for potential replacement for Apple. His inability to keep it together could be the Giants’ biggest issue heading into the 2018 season.