When your fifth-year option isn't picked up, you know it's time to prove your worth before you run out of chances.
Eli Apple is one player who doesn't have his future set in stone after the New Orleans Saints decided to pass on his 2020 contract option. He might not know where he'll be playing next year, but that all comes down to how he responds to the challenge during the 2019 campaign.
Apple needs to prove once and for all that isn't a bust by having a huge year for New Orleans.
So 2019 is a prove-it season for Eli Apple in New Orleans. https://t.co/hDT5UafTD4— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) May 1, 2019
This kid has to prove it in a number of ways.
Apple is not necessarily a bad player. In 10 games with the Saints following his trade from New York, he had nine passes defended and two interceptions, starting every contest along the way. He still isn't worth the fifth-year contract he was in line to receive that would've paid him $13.7 million for 2020. That's the price tag that comes with the 10th overall pick, and he just hasn't lived up to it.
Part of the fifth-year option question for Eli Apple has to do with his status as a Top 10 pick.— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) May 1, 2019
So Saints declining not necessarily a statement about their belief in Apple as a player.
Option price tags for Top 10 picks and the rest of the first round are different. #NYGiants
This is the year where he must show he really was worth that early pick. No one is saying he doesn't have a place on the field or in the league, but expectations are a bit higher when you're one of the first 10 selections in the draft.
Apple is going to have a big stage to perform on thanks to all eyes being on the New Orleans Saints this year. He'll either crash and burn or prove that the Giants were wrong for getting rid of him in the first place.