Dave Gettleman said he’s never seen a situation like the one the Giants have with Eli Apple.
“Not with a first-round pick,” the new general manager of the Giants said on Friday.
He felt uneasy addressing the situation any further without knowing more details, but the current state of Apple seems pretty grim. Last year’s first-round pick has been suspended for the last game of the season for a series of actions the Giants deemed detrimental to the team. The latest of those acts came on Wednesday when he refused to participate with the scout team in practice and got into an argument with an assistant coach.
The suspension is the most severe but certainly not the first levied against Apple this season. He’d been benched for the first quarter of a game earlier this year and then did not play in four straight games while healthy. He was active and played well in Week 15 but did not take the field on defense last Sunday against the Cardinals, when he participated in just seven special teams snaps.
The Giants clearly have a decision to make regarding Apple’s future with them. His suspension gives them some wiggle room regarding the cap hit from cutting him by voiding the guarantee on his 2018 and 2019 salaries, but team co-owner John Mara said the Giants have not yet made that determination.
“I think that’s a discussion we’ll have to have in the offseason,” Mara said. “He’s a young guy. I happen to like him personally. I’m obviously disturbed with what’s happened this year. I thought he had a terrific training camp and I was really excited about him as a player coming into this season. So I think we have to figure out what’s going on with him. I’d like at the end of the day for him to be a part of this team’s future, but I think that’s going to have to be a discussion with whoever the next head coach is and with Dave as well.”