An absolutely embarrassing season for the (2-13) New York Giants has gone from bad to worse, as during a radio interview All Pro safety Landon Collins called his teammate second year cornerback Eli Apple “A cancer”, which has caused media hysteria in New York. Collins did not mention Apple by name, but here is the full quote:
“There’s only just one corner that needs to grow, and we all know who that is. That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys (Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie), I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do. But that first pick…he’s a cancer.”
Apple was the New York Giants first round pick (10th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft, and while he has shown flashes of potential, he has been ripped by teammates and coaches for his lack of professionalism and immaturity. There have been rumors out of the Giants facility since Apple was drafted about his lazy approach both on and off the field, and with one of the Giants most respected players Landon Collins making the issue between the two public, it’s clear that Eli Apple’s days in New York may now be numbered. Apple Tweeted from the sidelines during the Giants home loss to the Dallas Cowboys on December 10th, which upset his teammates, a well as members of the front office. Eli Apple’s problems with effort and maturity have been ongoing, and Landon Collins is rumored to have had to been physically restrained from confronting Apple at the Giants facility over recent weeks, but Collins is not alone. Veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has also feuded with Eli Apple, after Rodgers-Cromartie was benched in favor of Apple, and after Apple blamed Rodgers-Cromartie for giving up a touchdown against the Eagles in December 17th. Eli Apple clearly has physical gifts and talent, but his lack of effort and immaturity have caused his teammates to sour on him to the point where they are telling the media he needs to go, and with the general manager who drafted him (Jerry Reese) and the head coach who believed in him (Ben McAdoo) both fired it’s hard to envision Apple being on the Giants roster in 2018.
NOTE: Hindsight is 20/20, but looking back on the 2016 NFL Draft today, the New York Giants organization must have so much regret. The Giants has the tenth pick, and desperately wanted Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin, but he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans with the eighth pick. The Giants fallback plan was Georgia pass rusher Leonard Floyd, but the Giants were shocked when the Chicago Bears drafted Floyd with the ninth pick, and the Giants panicked. The Giants drafted the highest ranked player on their board regardless of position, Eli Apple, a raw but physically gifted cornerback out of Ohio State. Everyone was surprised, Apple seemed like a reach at tenth overall, as most draft experts projected him to be a late first round or even early second round pick. Meanwhile, the Giants passed on highly rated offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil out of Ole Miss (13th to the Dolphins) and another offensive tackle who has Pro Bowl potential in Taylor Decker (16th to the Lions), and the Giants offensive line has been atrocious ever since. Maybe if Conklin falls into the Giants laps as they hoped, or if they drafted Tunsil or Decker instead of reaching for Eli Apple, this is a much better team and Reese and McAdoo still have jobs.
But…hindsight is 20/20.