Free Agency

NY Jets a potential landing spot for controversial CB Eli Apple

By Kristen Wong
NY Jets, Eli Apple
NY Jets, Eli Apple / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Twitter's favorite cornerback, Eli Apple, could make a spiteful return to New York and join the NY Jets this offseason.

Saints fans hate him. Giants fans hate him. Ravens fans hate him. The Jets might...tolerate him?

Apple, ever the journeyman cornerback, has developed a league-wide reputation as a loudmouth and a bit of an embarrassment. His peak was reaching Super Bowl LVI with the Cincinnati Bengals; his downfall was, too, reaching Super Bowl LVI.

Apple gave up two touchdowns to Rams' Cooper Kupp and played so poorly in the Super Bowl that Twitter users were tagging him with pictures of burnt toast during the game.

The Jets could, however, bring him on and add him to their secondary plans in 2022. At least according to one analyst.

Pro Football Network's Ben Rolfe listed the Jets as a potential destination for Apple this offseason, all his drama notwithstanding.

"He would not cost a lot, and therefore, the Jets will not feel they have to start him if the young players are doing well. Yet, Apple would provide good competition and a knowledge of what it’s like to be a young player in the spotlights of New York. A move for Apple feels like a relatively low-risk decision for the Jets."

Ben Rolfe

The NY Jets could target Bengals corner Eli Apple this offseason

As one of the few teams Apple hasn't antagonized, the Jets could use the secondary help after ranking third to last in the league in yards allowed per game (259.4).

The Jets could use some extra help at the cornerback position. Bryce Hall put together an excellent 2021 season while rookie Brandin Echols and Michael Carter II showed promise, but the team is likely to address the position this offseason.

Though Apple doesn't quite fit the mold of a seasoned veteran, he does offer glimpses of reliability.

After a poor start to the 2021 season, Apple has redeemed himself in Cincinnati's secondary and finished with 49 total tackles and two interceptions while allowing a 60.3 percent pass completion rate.

Given his mid-tier desirability, Apple won't be too expensive to pick up and could command a multi-year deal worth around five million per year.

And knowing how much Apple loves to trash talk, we wouldn't be surprised if he joined the Jets simply to give the bird to their interstate rivals and his former team, the New York Giants.

Next. 2022 NFL Mock Draft: NY Jets build around Zach Wilson, 3 QBs in the first round. dark

Wherever Apple goes, drama inevitably follows, and signing the recently disgraced cornerback may not be worth the headache. The Jets could do worse than him, though.

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