The New York Giants announced they have suspended embattled cornerback Eli Apple for the rest of the season.
“We have suspended Eli for a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team,” said interim general manager Kevin Abrams via a team-issued statement.
Apple, last year’s first-round draft pick, has had a tumultuous season that has been filled with personal issues, such as his mother’s brain surgery, to falling outs with teammates such as safety Landon Collins, who this week called Apple “a cancer” in a radio interview with The Michael Kay Show.
Apple has also drawn at least two fines, at least two benchings and further burned a bridge with Collins, a two-time Pro Bowl safety with a not-so subtle accusation in which Apple implied Collins was a liar when asked about the safety’s comments about trying to help the cornerback through his issues, some of which were detailed in a scathing expose by NJ Advance Media.
More recently, Apple irked some of his teammates when during the home game against the Cowboys, he violated the league’s social media policy by retweeting a post by an Ohio State fan club celebrating Cowboys running back Rod Smith’s long touchdown reception during the Cowboys torching of the Giants.
Collins and Apple were eventually summoned to interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo’s office Wednesday morning to hash out their differences.
“(Landon and I) had a quick conversation this morning and then I had a quick conversation with Eli,” said Spagnuolo. “And then all three of us had a really good conversation and it was very productive and I’ll just leave it at that. It’s between them and they were really great.”
Eli Apple’s suspension today was due in part to his refusal to take the field with the scout team, source says. @RapSheet says he then got into it with a coach.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 27, 2017
Collins has since issued an apology via his Twitter account to Apple, but not before he double downed on his disparaging comments about his teammate to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, whom he told, “I feel like Eli Apple has checked out … If you go back to the game on Sunday, Eli was sitting down on the sideline. That’s not what we need right now.” (h/t New York Post).
Apple twice appeared at his locker during Wednesday’s open locker room session, but didn’t stop to talk to reporters. The second time he passed through the media crowd, he loudly and crudely announced that he had to go to the bathroom.
By suspending Apple, who was in the second of a four-year contract with the remaining two years having guaranteed money, the team could now cut Apple and not be on the hook for the guaranteed money.
Apple played in 11 games this season with seven starts. He had 49 tackles (41 solo) and eight passes defensed. Apple was inactive for four consecutive games from Nov. 19 to Dec. 10. He returned to action against Philadelphia on Dec. 17, and had a team-high nine tackles (seven solo).
Last Sunday in Arizona, Apple played only on special teams. Brandon Dixon and Ross Cockrell each played all 68 defensive snaps at cornerback.