Panthers sign cornerback Eli Apple to one-year deal after Raiders deal fell through

After failing to finalize a deal earlier this offseason, Eli Apple has finally found his new home in the league.

The Carolina Panthers signed the cornerback to a one-year deal on Thursday, the team announced. The terms of that deal aren’t yet clear. 

Apple spent his first two seasons in the league with the New York Giants, though was traded to New Orleans just five games into the 2018 season. He recorded 58 total tackles with the Saints last season, though missed the postseason with an ankle injury. The Saints declined his fifth-year option on his initial rookie deal, making him a free agent this offseason.

Apple had agreed in principle to a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders in March, but backed out after the two sides couldn’t finalize the contract. He was one of several to have a deal fall through amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prohibited teams from meeting with free agents in person. The Raiders eventually signed former Cleveland Browns cornerback Damarious Randall to a one-year deal instead.

The Panthers, according to general manager Marty Hurney, were hoping to add a veteran player at cornerback to help with their two new rookies there. Carolina picked up Notre Dame cornerback Troy Pride Jr. in the fourth round of last month’s draft and Florida International cornerback Stan Thomas-Oliver in the seventh round. 

Apple, with 55 games for two teams over four seasons under his belt, should be able to do just that.

Months after a deal with Las Vegas fell through, Eli Apple is headed to the Panthers. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

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