Panthers sign former first round cornerback Eli Apple

Eli Apple is on his third team in five years as he signs with the Panthers.

With the tenth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple. His tenure in New York was brief as both sides turned volatile as he was traded to the New Orleans Saints in 2018; he is now on his third team in five years as he signs with the Carolina Panthers.

While Apple has not lived up to the hype of a first round cornerback, he did ever so slightly rebuild his career in New Orleans. Now as he heads to Carolina, he looks to take his game to the next level in order to earn a bigger pay day after signing a one-year deal; the financials are not disclosed at this point.

Apple originally signed a one-year, six million dollar deal with the Las Vegas Raiders two months ago, but that deal inevitably fell through. After the departure of James Bradberry, who signed with the Giants this offseason, Apple will likely have an excellent opportunity to start across from Donte Jackson.

Only 25 years old, Apple has a ton of potential still left in the tank if he can build off of the success he had with the Saints. Over the past two seasons, Apple tallied 30 starts, recording 18 passes defended and two forced fumbles. He has hovered around the 62 mark, an average grade given by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) over the past two seasons.

Next: Kent State WR Isaiah McKoy a sleeper name to bookmark

As the Panthers head into their new era with new head coach Matt Rhule, they hope to have found a gem in Apple. Taking a chance on a talented player who has yet to put it all together, but is still young, one a one year deal is never a bad deal.