New York Giants captain Damon Harrison believes cornerback Eli Apple needs to show more maturity.
During an appearance on “Speak For Yourself” with Colin Cowherd, the defensive tackle discussed Apple’s recent antics and said he believes the former first-round pick will “figure it out” and “learn from his mistakes,” but still needs to make improvements in order to have a successful NFL career.
“A young guy, another one who has to grow up,” Harrison said of Apple. “He’s got to learn from his mistakes and his experience. It isn’t college anymore, nobody’s here to hold your hand. But I think he’s a good young man with a good head on his shoulders. And I think he’ll figure it out.”
In December, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that the Giants will likely part ways with Apple this offseason, despite entering the third year of his rookie contract
On Tuesday, ESPN‘s Jordan Raanan also predicted Apple would be traded, which could provide a potential savings of $4.1 million in cap space.
“Apple is traded. He still has value, even if it’s not equitable to the first-round pick the Giants used on him just two years ago. He should be able to bring a midround pick back in return.”
Apple was suspended by the Giants prior to the team’s final regular season game in December, which occurred one day after Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins called him a “cancer” during a radio interview with Bob Wischusen.
The former No. 10 overall draft pick called out interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo after playing zero snaps from the cornerback position and only seeing action on special teams in Week 16.
“It was a coach’s decision. That’s all I have to say. Ask the coach, man. Have a good one,” Apple told reporters when asked about being benched on Sunday.
Apple led all defensive backs with nine solo tackles and played 60 of 68 snaps during the Giants’ Week 15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, which led to initial speculation that his benching was due to off-field issues.
“He was going to get in there on some dime situations,’’ Spagnuolo told reporters after the game, via the NY Post. “The guys that have been in there have been playing together for a little bit, the continuity has been good, so we just kinda of left it at that. Probably need to get him in there.’’
It seems inevitable that Apple’s days in New York are numbered, despite the vote of confidence from his captain.