It will ultimately be left up to new general manager Dave Gettleman and whoever he brings in as head coach. But if it were Landon Collins’ decision to make, embattled young cornerback Eli Apple would be back with the New York Giants next season.
“My relationship can be repaired with him, Collins said of Apple, via the New York Post. “Our relationship can be mended.”
Collins and Apple feuded throughout the 2017 season with the former calling his teammate a cancer late in the season (more on that here).
Ultimately, Apple was suspended by the Giants for their final game of the season for violating team policy.
If Collins wants Apple back in the mix, the Giants themselves might want to listen. Though, it does come with a bit of a caveat.
“I don’t know what his mindset is right now. He’s kind of all over the place right now. You can see that with his Twitter rant,” Collins continued. “We got to have an understanding why he’s playing football, because you got to be playing football to be one of the best players, not to be on the team and blowing your opportunity.”
There’s been widespread speculation that the Giants will either trade or release Apple this offseason. He was a highly combative figure for a team that’s coming off its most drama-filled season in franchise history.
Despite this, Collins knows the value Apple brings to the Giants as a recent first-round pick.
“I think the organization should keep him,” Collins said. “He’s a first-rounder. He does a good job when his head is on straight on the field. … I want him to be here. I want him to be under my wing, and I can continue pushing him, continuing teaching him how this game is and how this business goes, and help him grow up as much as I can.”
This minor vote of confidence in Apple’s direction will likely have no real impact on what the Giants’ brass decides to do with their 2016 first-round pick. Even then, it’s a rather interesting take from an All-Pro player who seemed to be done with Apple as a teammate mere weeks ago.