Landon Collins, NFL, New York Giants
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New York Giants safety Landon Collins called cornerback Eli Apple “a cancer” on ESPN Radio’s “The Michael Kay Show” on Tuesday.

It appears that the New York Giants won’t get a quick and quiet ending to their miserable season like they were hoping. Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins took a shot at Eli Apple when asked what he would tell an incoming coach or general manager about what went wrong for the Giants’ secondary in 2017.

You can hear the full audio from Collins’ interview with ESPN Radio’s Bob Wischusen, who was filling in for Michael Kay, here.

“There’s one corner that has to establish [himself] and needs to grow up, and we all know who that is,” Collins said. “That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. The other two guys—DRC [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] and Jack Rabbit [Janoris Jenkins]—I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do. But, that first pick, I don’t think, we don’t need, he’s a cancer.”

The vaunted Giants secondary labeled the “NYPD” (New York Pass Defense) has faltered in a big way this season. Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were each suspended for a game for returning late from the bye week and leaving the sideline during a game respectively.

Eli Apple has struggled immensely this season, being beaten on big plays multiple times and being inactive for four weeks despite being healthy, a run of games that ended with him being fined for tweeting during the game.

Apple returned to play against the Philadelphia Eagles and had a pretty good game, earning praise from coach Steve Spagnuolo.

Collins and Apple were having what appeared to be a mild disagreement played out in the media over the past several weeks. Collins claimed that he spoke to Apple about his struggles both on and off the field this season, while Apple disputed that claim.

It’s no doubt been a rough season for all involved. The team has only won two games and fired head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese a few weeks ago. That will put a strain on any team, and Collins’ recent injury definitely didn’t help his mood.

That being said, players can’t call their teammates a cancer, especially in an interview. Collins is an insanely talented safety who the team no doubt intends to keep for a long time.

But this team needs leaders. If Collins wants to become a leader on this team, he needs to immediately apologize, and do it three times. He needs to do it privately with Apple, he needs to do it in front of the team, and he needs to do it in a statement to the media.

If Collins walks this back quickly enough, he can write it off as a frustrated player saying something that he didn’t mean. Otherwise, he will have no doubt lost the respect of players in the locker room for making his private thoughts public.

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