Eli Apple Traded to New Orleans Saints

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Eli Apple
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11: Eli Apple #24 of the New York Giants celebrates a tackle against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 11, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New York Giants are trading cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints.

New York Giants Swap Eli Apple for Draft Picks

According to Schefter, the Saints are giving up a fourth-round 2019 draft pick and a seventh-round 2020 draft pick to acquire the third-year cornerback.

Apple has played well this season, a welcome change from the on- and off-field struggles he endured during his rookie and sophomore seasons. In 2017, Apple started less than half the season and only recorded eight passes defended all season. He was a distraction to the team during the Giants rough 2017 season, threatening to leave the team after being reprimanded for his apparent lack of effort and getting caught tweeting from the sideline during a game.

This year, the 23-year-old has a forced fumble (and recover) and five passes defended in five games.

Through the first seven weeks of the season, the Saints secondary has given up an average of 308.5 receiving yards per game. That stands as the fifth-worst per game average in the league across all 32 teams. New Orleans also stands as one of the worst teams in the league in terms of defending against big plays. This season, the Saints have given up eight plays of 42 yards or more.

Apple should replace Ken Crawley as the second cornerback on the depth chart behind fellow Ohio State Buckeye Marshon Lattimore. Crawley has only three passes defended and no interceptions in six games with the Saints.

To supplement their secondary, the Saints reportedly also looked into acquiring Patrick Peterson from the Arizona Cardinals.

With Apple off the roster, the Giants no longer retain their first-round picks from the 2015 and 2016 NFL Drafts after waiving Ereck Flowers earlier this month.

Eli Apple is just one of several surprising trades ahead of the midseason trade deadline, including the Cleveland Browns sending Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders dealing Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys.

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