The Saints declined to exercise the fifth-year option on Apple's rookie contract, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports. Apple, who would have been owed roughly $13 million in 2020, is thus slated to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. Even though the Saints won't keep him in the fold beyond 2019 after forking over a fourth-round pick to the Giants last season, Apple has nonetheless been a solid pickup for a win-now team that has bigger priorities than overpaying for a No. 2 cornerback. New Orleans will likely use the money saved by forgoing Apple's fifth-year option to try and extend the likes of receiver Michael Thomas, running back Alvin Kamara and top cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Apple had three tackles (all solo) and an interception in Sunday's win against the Bengals. The interception was a gift, as Apple corralled a ball that was tipped into the air by his defensive line in the fourth quarter. Apple nevertheless drew another start -- his third straight -- and has posted solid numbers since coming to New Orleans in a trade with the Giants. So long as opposing quarterbacks continue to avoid throwing at cornerback Marshon Lattimore, Apple should see plenty of action, which gives him value in deeper IDP leagues.
Apple made five tackles (four solo) and had one pass defense in Sunday's win against the Rams. In his second game with New Orleans, Apple started at cornerback opposite Marshon Lattimore, though the Saints' top three cornerbacks (Lattimore, Apple and P.J. Williams) all played every defensive snap as the defense attempted to slow down the prolific Los Angeles passing game. As a result, Apple had another solid fantasy performance as opposing offenses remain hesitant to throw towards Lattimore, the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year. So long as Apple continues to start, he should be a decent option in deeper IDP leagues.
Apple made nine tackles (all solo) in Sunday night's win against the Vikings. While fantasy owners likely won't complain about his team-leading nine tackles, Apple had an inauspicious first start with the Saints, as he and fellow cornerback P.J. Williams were picked on repeatedly by Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Still, Apple played nearly every defensive snap in Minnesota, and he probably has a decent leash given the Saints' struggles to find a capable corner man opposite stud cornerback Marshon Lattimore. With opposing quarterbacks likely looking to avoid Lattimore's side of the field, Apple could rack up a decent number of tackles if he remains the starter, making him a serviceable fantasy option in deeper IDP leagues.
Apple (ankle) is not listed on New Orleans' injury report Wednesday. Apple, who was traded to the Saints on Tuesday, appears to be fully recovered from the ankle injury he sustained while playing in the Giants' Week 7 loss to the Falcons. It remains to be seen what role Apple will play in New Orleans' defense, but it's a good sign that the 10th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft is healthy and can be fully evaluated by his new team. When fully acclimated to the playbook, expect Apple to serve a key role in a Saints' secondary that lost Patrick Robinson (ankle) to injured reserve in September.
|2||09/15||@Los Angeles Rams||29|
|5||10/06||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6|
|11||11/17||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6|
|14||12/08||San Francisco 49ers||14|