Many believed that Eli Apple’s suspension for the 2017 season finale was a death knell to his Giants career, but a conversation with new general manager Dave Gettleman could suggest otherwise.
New year, new Eli?
It appears that troubled New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple will at least be getting a chance to prove himself to new management. In an interview with the New York Post‘s Steve Serby, GM Dave Gettleman revealed he met with the former first-round selection on Wednesday, and it appears they got off on the right foot.
Q: How did your meeting go Wednesday with Eli Apple?
A: It went fine. We talked. He was very attentive. He was focused. He couldn’t be at Monday’s team meeting, so I went through the points that I made to the team with him.
While many thought Apple’s suspension prior to the Giants’ season finale on December 31 was a death knell to his Giants career, Gettleman hinted that may not be the case.
Q: Are you optimistic that his career can be salvaged?
A: Time will tell. I told him he’s got a clean slate for me. Let’s move forward, let’s see what happens.
After his introductory press conference on Dec. 29, Gettleman was asked about how he’d handle Apple in a follow-up media session. The former Carolina Panthers general manager was mum on an immediate response, stating he wished to obtain all the facts first.
“I don’t know everything. So, I’m not going to give you an opinion on how I’d handle it,” he said. “But did I ever come across this before? No, not with a first-round pick.”
Taken with the tenth overall selection of the 2016 NFL Draft, Apple’s follow-up to a solid rookie season was disastrous by all accounts. His effort was called into question several times this season, as was his dedication to the team when it was said he stormed out of a team meeting when several of his tough plays were spotlighted.
He missed four games in November and December due to injury but remained active for all the wrong reasons, namely a retweet of an Ohio State fan account during the team’s Dec. 10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. A former Buckeye, Apple retweeted a post commemorating college teammate and current Cowboy running back Rod Smith’s 81-yard touchdown reception, one that the caption noted “iced the New York Giants” in their 30-10 defeat.
Apple was later labeled a “cancer” by safety Landon Collins in a late December radio interview, and offered no comment on the situation, infamously declaring he had to use the restroom (though that wasn’t his exact wording) when reporters approached him for comment. After reports surfaced of near-physical confrontations with cornerbacks/secondary coach Tim Walton, Apple was held out of the Giants’ 18-10 win over the Washington Redskins last Sunday. Interim general manager Kevin Abrams stated the suspension was due to “conduct detrimental to the team”.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490