Eli Apple is back on the open market. Apple, who reportedly came to terms on a contract with the Raiders back on March 18, is once again a free agent after the two sides were "unable to finalize a contract," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Before coming to terms with Apple, the Raiders reportedly had a two-year contract offer for former Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr., but ultimately decided to instead sign Apple, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Harris, a four-time Pro Bowler, has with the Chargers.
The 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Apple, a boundary cornerback, started his career with the Giants before being traded to the Saints midway through the 2018 season. Apple has logged 48 career regular season starts in 55 games. He has 233 career tackles, three interceptions, 33 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. Last season, his only full season with the Saints, Apple tallied 53 tackles along with one forced fumble and four passes defensed in 15 games.
Apple was set to join a Raiders team that had already signed former Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, former Rams linebacker Cory Littleton, former Cowboys defensive tackle Maliek Collins, former Cowboys safety Jeff Heath, and former Buccaneers defensive end Carl Nassib during the first two weeks of free agency.
With Apple off the table, the Raiders may decide to look into signing Dre Kirkpatrick, a veteran cornerback who was Bengals earlier this week. In 99 regular season games with the Bengals, Kirkpatrick received 67 starts while recording 302 tackles, 10 interceptions, two interceptions returns for touchdowns, and 65 passes defensed. His play helped the Bengals advance to the playoffs four straight years from 2012-15.