4 Carolina Panthers who belong on Santa’s naughty list in 2020

(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Tahir Whitehead
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Tahir Whitehead /
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(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Eli Apple /

Eli Apple – Former Carolina Panthers CB

There were plenty of expectations on the shoulders of Eli Apple this season. The Carolina Panthers picked up the cornerback late in the free agency period on a one-year, $3 million deal and he was slotted to start opposite Donte Jackson within a revamped group that more than their fair share of concerns coming in.

Apple was entering the last chance saloon in a bid to become a prominent starter in the NFL after failing to deliver on his promise at the No. 10 overall selection in 2016. But his time in Carolina was nothing short of a disaster.

Things didn’t get off to the best start for Apple, who spent most of the Panthers’ training camp on the sidelines with injury. This trend continued throughout the campaign barring a couple of fleeting appearances on special teams that brought little in the way of production.

Matt Rhule’s patience with the former Ohio State star finally ran out when Apple cried off practice with a hamstring problem that was reportedly medically cleared to participate. The corner was released almost immediately after this particular session and it is notable that no other NFL team has taken a chance on him since.

Apple’s days in the league are probably numbered. And one of the biggest busts in recent memory only has himself to blame.