After trading for former New York Giants' first-round pick Eli Apple midway through the 2018 season, the New Orleans Saints are declining his fifth-year option.
Apple helped improve the Saints' pass defense in the latter half of last season, recording 52 tackles, nine passes defensed and two interceptions in 10 games with New Orleans. He'll likely be a starter in the Saints secondary again this season, but his future past 2019 may not be in the Big Easy.
The #Saints have decided they will not pick up the fifth-year option for CB Eli Apple, source says. So he will be slated to be a free agent at the end of this upcoming season.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 1, 2019
All rookies sign four-year contracts when they're drafted, and first-round picks are given a fifth-year team option. If the Saints were to pick up that option, Apple would've made $13.7 million this season, making him one of the highest paid corners in football.
Although he showed flashes last season and helped their secondary, the Saints just aren't ready to commit that much money to Apple.
New @Saints DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson had the draft class' highest grade from the slot among SEC defenders and allowed a paltry 45.4 passer rating on throws into his coverage. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/txDJyOxa5F— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 27, 2019
Unless Apple balls out in 2019 and has a career year, it seems unlikely he'll be brought back to New Orleans after the season.