Panthers: How the Panthers can trade for Eli Apple


Due to the massive trades that have involved cornerbacks thus far in the offseason , could the Carolina Panthers pursue Eli Apple?

Only a year removed from a playoff appearance, the New York Giants suffered a multitude of injuries, a coaching overhaul, and plenty of locker room drama. All of that culminated in a disappointing 3-13 season. Among those involved in the locker room drama was second-year cornerback Eli Apple. From arguing with teammates to tweeting during a game, Apple was constantly cited as a distraction from the team. A change of scenery could benefit both the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers.

Why Trading for Eli Apple Makes Sense for both Franchises

  1. The Carolina Panthers have a poor habit of slapping old bandages on to their defense. While these additions usually work out (Julius Peppers, Jared Allen, Roman Harper), it is time to get younger. A trade for a young corner with a ton of upside is a great start.
  2. Eli Apple’s trade value could possibly never be lower. Given his distractions, a nightmare of a season, and the shifting of power in the front office, Apple could be severed as a part of the giant (pun intended) rebuilding process that New York will be forced to endure.
  3. Apple could want to be traded. The locker room situation has never been worse during Apple’s short time in the NFL. Bickering with teammates and uncertainty about the offseason could warrant a trade request  .
  4. As a result of the locker room issues, Apple could want to escape the scrutinizing eyes of the New York press in preference of Charlotte’s quieter media market.
  5. The Giants are in the midst of a rebuilding process.  Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman has always believed in a stronger defensive front seven than a stronger secondary, as seen with the Panthers’ current defensive blueprint.
  6. Gettleman seems to enjoy getting rid of good corners (Josh Norman) and drafting his own talent (James Bradberry, Daryl Worley, Zack Sanchez). Trading a corner that has fallen from grace for a draft pick would go along with Gettleman’s previous blueprint.

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The Verdict

While the upside of Eli Apple is undeniable, the off-field issues are a huge concern. The Carolina Panthers usually don’t make for negative headlines.

With the exception of a certain sexist comment, Panthers players have always been in the media spotlight for the positive that they have done in their community. Look at Greg Olson. He has been a nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for several years now. Additionally, funny posts of Cam Newton’s clothing and Ron River curling just prove how positive of an off the field impact Panthers players have had in the great Charlotte community. Eli Apple simply doesn’t fit that mold.

However, if there was ever a locker room Apple could learn in, the Panthers locker room is the place.

With defensive superstars Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and  Julius Peppers, Eli Apple would have a chance to reset and learn under some of the greatest defensive leaders in NFL history. In New York, Apple was constantly subject to some of the most vicious media personnel in the world. As a first-round pick, the attention he received as a young player must have been unbearable under those bright lights.

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A simple trade for Apple could be all that it takes, and Apple might never be as cheap than he is now. Gettleman will be eager to put his fingerprints on the roster, and Eli Apple is a pick by the previous regime. The Panther could send the second of their third-round draft picks for Eli Apple. The Panthers would get a shiny new cornerback, and Gettleman would be able to draft a player for his new regime.