5 Carolina Panthers facing boom or bust seasons in 2020

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) Eli Apple /

Carolina Panthers Player No. 3: Eli Apple – CB

The time for Eli Apple to finally deliver on his promise is now. His play since arriving in the NFL has been inconsistent at best. And things will need to improve sharply with the Carolina Panthers in 2020.

Apple is entering his final opportunity to prove his worth as a starter after signing a one-year, $3 million deal with the Panthers. He is expected to slot in alongside Donte Jackson as the No. 2 option initially. Although this is a spot that might be filled by fourth-round selection Troy Pride Jr. later in the season if the player fails to deliver once again.

It is somewhat bemusing that a player with the supreme athletic traits such as Apple has yet to find his feet at the next level. Being the No. 10 overall pick comes with its own set of pressure. And this is something he has failed to cope with as yet.

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The Panthers appear confident that Apple can become a valuable member of their defense. He is clearly embracing the challenge during the early stages of training camp. But putting it all together in a competitive setting is another matter entirely.

Apple’s rash decision-making has seen him become a target for opposing offenses in recent seasons. And if the same thing happens in Carolina, then he can kiss his chances of ever being a starter again goodbye.