New York Giants: Gettleman may regret polishing this Apple

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 1: Wide receiver Mike Evans
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 1: Wide receiver Mike Evans /

At his introductory press conference, new general manager Dave Gettleman talked about team culture.

In 2017, clearly the New York Giants had a fractured locker room. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard spoke about it directly as the team broke up this week. Famously, safety Landon Collins called cornerback Eli Apple “a cancer” recently.

With right tackle Bobby Hart being cut before the team’s final game, and suspensions to cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, it does not take a vivid imagination to understand the high level of team dysfunction going on in East Rutherford.

Through all of this chatter, we have not even broached the subject of Ereck Flowers yet. Nor should we, because in the hierarchy of issues that Gettlemean and staff have to deal with right now, Flowers cannot be a high priority.

He will become that at some point, however, just not right now.

One thing we do know is about sideshows. Most of us at work have been in an environment where a co-worker constantly has “personal problems”. When that person has to tend to matters not relating to the job, others have to cover for him or her. It grates on the entire unit unfortunately.

In fact, the most pressing item on Gettleman’s “to-do” list should have been the easiest to accomplish. That’s cut Eli Apple. It didn’t happen.

Common Sense Solution

Gettleman opined at his press conference, “don’t give up on talent.” He takes that advice from former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi. In the specific case of Apple, after two season, we simply don’t know how much talent is there.

New York Giants
New York Giants /

New York Giants

Folks will write about potential – and that just means someone hasn’t done it yet.

Between his mother’s sideshow social media presence, his Ohio State-fandom and arguments with teammates and coaches, there’s always something in the air. And the last thing a new coach of a 3-13 squad needs is more on his plate. At the end of the day, managing the Apple situation will drain valuable time and resources.

Emotionally, it appears that this guy has only matured to the level of an NFL rookie now. And with the various starts and stops to last season, one has to wonder how much his game has evolved.

Dan Duggan of wrote an interesting piece last month – highlighting matters with Apple and his family. Duggan used quoted sources in or close to the family.

It’s definitely worth a read.

"Per Duggan, “Several people close to the situation told NJ Advance Media that strife in Apple’s family, particularly an abrupt falling out with his stepfather Tim Apple, has led to the Voorhees native going off track.”"

All in all, the piece seems fair, and Duggan even asked Eli Apple to comment on it. Apple declined.

The Final Nail?

In addition to the Duggan story, Giants Wire points out some juicy gossip that came via Black Sports Online.

That stuff is worth a read as well, and in addition, Giants Wire posted a now deleted Twitter message from Annie Apple threatening to sue both Duggan and Black Sports Online. As they say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. For Gettleman’s part, he did the reasonable thing and set up a meeting with Apple to clear the air.

Per the New York Post, Eli Apple put on his best face in a meeting with Gettleman, and as of right now, it appears that he’s staying with the New York Giants.

Keeping Apple may be an acknowledgement by Gettleman that this team is not oozing of talent. It may not be good news for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie either. There would seem to be two plausible outcomes: 1. The New York Giants get pleasantly surprised and it’s like having another first round pick in camp this season, or 2. We get more of the same in 2018 that we saw in 2016 and 2017.

What should be concerning for everyone is the precedent. When have we ever seen marginal talent with an omnipresent family member be able to self-regulate the situation? The odds have to be long in this case as well, so don’t be surprised if we circle back to this one sometime in the spring or summer.

Over the course of the next several months, Dave Gettleman will make many franchise-changing decisions. We have to wonder whether bringing Apple back will be worth the gamble?