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Saints elect not to pick up option on Eli Apple

Saints decline to pick up contract option on a starting cornerback

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the New Orleans Saints have elected not to pick up the 5th year contract option on cornerback Eli Apple, making him an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019 season.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The 23-yr. old Apple was originally drafted by the New York Giants as the 10th overall pick in 2016 out of Ohio State. He started 25 games his first two seasons in New York, breaking up 15 passes and intercepting 1, while recovering 4 fumbles and accumulating 98 tackles. He was traded to the Saints at the 2018 trading deadline in exchange for a 4th round pick. Apple played 12 games for New Orleans last season, including playoffs, tying for the team lead with 2 interceptions and second with 9 pass breakups.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Apple is slated to make a little over 2.5 million in base salary this season, but picking up his contract for 2020 would have escalated his salary to nearly 14 million for next year. The Saints coverage units greatly improved after his acquisition last season, and he will start alongside former Ohio State teammate Marshon Lattimore again in 2019, giving New Orleans one of the better cornerback duos in the NFL.


Do you agree with the Saints decision to not pick up Eli Apple's fifth year option?

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