The Cincinnati Bengals have officially announced the free agent’s signing, a former first-round pick, CB Eli Apple, to a one-year contract on Tuesday.
However, the financial information relating to Apple’s one-year contract with the Bengals is not yet disclosed.
Buckeye ➡ Bengal
Welcome to Cincinnati, @EliApple!
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) March 23, 2021
Moreover, according to Tyler Dragon of Cincinnati.com, the corner-back Eli Apple contract is only for a year with the Bengals.
Apple joins a cornerback room with other veteran players like Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Hilton, and Trae Waynes, who have never played for the Bengals.
Moreover, he is likely to compete with Phillips to be the Bengals’ fourth cornerback, as per sources.
Apple was not only the one to be signed by the Bengals on Tuesday. The team struck a year deal with the offensive lineman, Quinton Spain confirming via Twitter.
Eli Apple’s Contracts
Before signing with the Cincinnati Bengals, Eli was signed by the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers.
The Giants signed a guaranteed four-year contract with Eli Apple worth $15.15 million, including a signing bonus of $9.21 million.
However, Apple was traded to the New Orleans Saints in 2018, right before the trade deadline.
After his rookie contract with the Saints expired in 2019, Apple signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers in the 2020 offseason.
The signed one-year contract with the Panthers worth $3 million.
— Cincy Jungle (@CincyJungle) March 23, 2021
But unfortunately, due to his foot and ankle injuries in September, he was limited to play just two games.
Then, in October, the Carolina Panthers released him as a free agent.
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From Eli Woodward to Eli Apple
Eli Apple, a 25-year old American Football cornerback, was originally the first-round draft pick. He was the No.10 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft by the New York Giants.
Furthermore, Eli played college football at Ohio State University and was a sixth-year out of Ohio State before the NFL draft.
Eli Apple was formally known as Eli Woodward. He was raised by his mother, Annie Apple, and stepfather, Tim Apple.
Apple got to know about his step-father from the age of two. His step-father nurtured him with love and cared all his childhood, which is why Eli changed his surname from Woodward to Apple.
Beginnings of Eli Apple’s career
New York Giants
The New York Giants selected Eli Apple as the No. 10 overall picks in the 2016 NFL draft.
Moreover, he was the second cornerback after Jalen Ramsey in the 2016 draft. After signing the contract, Apple entered the training camp as a third cornerback on the depth chart.
Eli began his professional career with his regular seasons from New York Giants. He recorded four solo tackles during the season opener against Dallas Cowboys.
Additionally, he recorded one solo tackle with a loss of 29-27 against the Washington Redskins. Due to a hamstring and groin injury, he was inactive in the games for few weeks.
After making a comeback from injury, Apple recorded four solo tackles against Philadelphia Eagles. Then, he made one solo tackle in a 21-20 victory against Cincinnati Bengals.
Eli Apple recorded 51 combined tackles, including 41 solos, seven pass deflections, one interception, and one forced tumbles during his rookie season in 2016.
In his NFL season in 2017, Apple recorded 49 combined tackles, including 41 solo tackles and eight deflections in eleven games and seven starts.
As a starting cornerback in 2018, Eli recorded eight combined tackles and three pass deflections: the season’s high pass deflections against Philadelphia Eagles.
He then accomplished the highest Pro Football Focus defense grade of 65 and a coverage grade of 64.2.
All in all, Eli Apple played twenty-three games for the Giants before the Giants traded him with the New Orleans Saints.
A year in New Orleans Saints
After two years, the New York Giants traded Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints. The Giants traded Eli for a fifth-round pick in 2019 and a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
However, the Saints declined on Apple’s fifth-year contract option on 1st May 2019. From then on, Eli was a free agent.
During his one year in the New Orleans Saints, Eli set down nine solo tackles in a 30-20 win against Minnesota Vikings.
Furthermore, Apple recorded his first interception in a 51-14 win with the Saints against Cincinnati Bengals.
Before signing with the Carolina Panthers, Eli Apple played two seasons and started 25 games for the New Orleans Saints.
He collected 58 tackles, four defense passes, and a forced fumble during his tenure with the Saints.
A 25-year-old Eli known for his unique skills only spent a brief period with the Carolina Panthers. He signed a year deal with the Panthers in the 2020 offseason.
Throughout his solo season in Carolina Panthers, he battled against his ankle and foot injuries. Because of this, he missed many of the games and therefore was active for only two games.
In October 2020, the Carolina Panthers abruptly released Eli Apple, and ever since, he had been a free agent.
Eli Apple had played 57 NFL career games with the Giants, Panthers, and the Saints altogether.
Also, he had a total log of 237 tackles with three forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, three interceptions, and 33 pass breakups.
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Eli Apple had few connections with the Cincinnati Bengals while playing with the Giants and the New Orleans Saints.
Along with the former Buckeyes teammate Vonn Bell, a starting safety, Apple will be reuniting with Bengals secondary.
The Bengals, who have drafted more than six Ohio state players than any other franchise, add another defense piece Eli Apple to the team.
This makes a total of six former Buckeyes on the current roster.