The Associated Press
The New York Giants have sent “the other Eli” to the New Orleans Saints.
Not Eli Manning. Eli Apple.
The Giants on Tuesday traded the cornerback who was the 10th pick overall in the 2016 draft to the Saints for a fourth-round pick in 2019 and a seventh-rounder in 2020.
Like all trades, it will not be official until Apple passes a physical.
The move marks the second time in a week the Giants (1-6) have parted ways with a recent first-round draft pick. Last week, they waived tackle Ereck Flowers, their 2015 top pick. He was signed by Jacksonville.
It also could be a sign the Giants, who were 3-13 last season, might deal more assets with the NFL trading deadline set for 4 p.m. on Oct. 30.
Coach Pat Shurmur said the Giants are constantly evaluating their roster, and he felt they got good value for Apple.
“I think if you remember back, Eli was out with an injury when we beat Houston and B.W. Webb played in his spot against two fine receivers,” Shurmur said late Tuesday afternoon. “So we’re not throwing in the towel.”
Shurmur is convinced Manning, who has been under the microscope, will be his quarterback when the trading deadline is over.
Apple has 23 tackles and a forced fumble. He also recovered a fumble in the Giants’ 23-20 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta on Monday night.
The Saints have struggled on pass defense all season. They are 5-1 and in first place in the NFC South in large part because of the play of Drew Brees and the offense.
New Orleans will face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night in a matchup of first-place teams.
This was somewhat of a make-or-break season for Apple. He had a bad year in 2017 and was called a cancer by safety Landon Collins because of his attitude. He was inactive for four games and suspended for the season finale.
The South Jersey native came back this season and was all business. He has shown flashes of being a good cornerback but at times has not made plays. His holding penalty on a third-down play cost the Giants a chance to get off the field with Atlanta pinned near its goal line.
In his three seasons with the Giants, Apple played in 30 regular-season games with 23 starts. He had 120 tackles (102 solo), one interception, 20 passes defensed, one forced fumble and five fumble recoveries, as well as two stops and one fumble recovery on special teams.
Apple started 27 games for Ohio State from 2014-15. He finished his college career with 86 tackles, four interceptions and 22 passes defensed. He was a college teammate of three current Saints: safety Vonn Bell, cornerback Marshon Lattimore and receiver Michael Thomas.
New Orleans has been ranked near the bottom of the league in pass defense. The pass defense gave up late touchdowns against Cleveland in Week 2 and Baltimore on Sunday and hung on for wins on missed point-after kicks.
The Saints lost top nickel back Patrick Robinson after three games because of an ankle injury. The veteran had joined the team as a free agent after a year in Philadelphia.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL