4 former Carolina Panthers players looking for revenge in 2022

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Eli Apple
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Eli Apple /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Eli Apple /

Eli Apple – Former Carolina Panthers CB

There was a lot of fanfare surrounding the Carolina Panthers securing the services of Eli Apple in 2020 free agency. Not all of it was good, obviously, but the cornerback had enough in his arsenal to potentially become a trusted member of the defensive back rotation during Matt Rhule’s rookie season as head coach.

Sadly, this did not turn out as expected.

Apple dealt with some injury problems during training camp and after reportedly refusing to suit up for a specific practice, the Panthers cut ties with the former first-round pick entirely after just two games and 28 defensive snaps.

This could have been the end of Apple’s NFL career, in all honesty. But a mini-renaissance with the Cincinnati Bengals saw the Ohio State product help during their memorable run to the Super Bowl that almost saw them lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy against all odds.

Although Apple’s production was criticized once again, the Bengals kept him around. This gives him a chance to get one over on Rhule and the Panthers over the second half of the campaign.

Apple gave up 60.3 percent of targets thrown his way last season and secured a modest 60.9 grade from Pro Football Focus as a result of his efforts. Something the Panthers could take advantage of when the two sides clash in Week 9 at Paul Brown Stadium.