After the Cincinnati Bengals’ AFC Championship Game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, cornerback Eli Apple discussed his plans for the offseason.
The Cincinnati Bengals were looking to make another trip to the Super Bowl, but fell just short by losing 23-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs. Prior to their elimination, the Bengals were very confident heading into the game, perhaps no one more than cornerback Eli Apple. The former 2016 first-round pick by the New York Giants has been known to gloat after big wins, which was evident after the team’s Divisional Round win over the Buffalo Bills, where he mocked players like Stefon Diggs, telling them to enjoy their trip to Cancun.
With the Bengals and Apple now out of the playoffs, some are wondering if Apple will be heading to Cancun. Well that is unknown. What is known, however, is that Apple is heading into free agency.
When speaking with the media this week, Apple was asked about what his plans are in terms of free agency and if he plans to visit the Bengals this offseason. Apple said that he wants to go “wherever he’s wanted,” but praised the city of Cincinnati and playing with the Bengals.
Eli Apple says he wants to go ‘anywhere’ he’s wanted in free agency
“It’s a beautiful city. [Cincinnati] is underrated. I’ll definitely come back,” said Apple, h/t the Bengals official website. “I want to go anywhere I’m wanted. No team like [this one]. Can’t catch that feel anywhere else. Maybe you could, but I don’t know, I’ve been a lot of other places. It’s rare.”
Apple had a tumultuous start to his career with the Giants, where he was traded midway through the 2018 season to the New Orleans Saints. His tenure in New Orleans lasted through the 2019 campaign, as they declined his fifth-year option. Let’s just say Apple had some hard feelings about his time in New Orleans. Apple spent the 2020 season with the Carolina Panthers before finally landing with the Bengals.
In the 2021 regular season, Apple allowed 47 receptions for 602 yards and three touchdowns on 78 targets, per Pro Football Reference. In the Bengals’ playoff run that year, he had a game-clinching pass deflection against the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round. He notably trolled the Chiefs and then-wide receiver Tyreek Hill after the Bengals’ win. Then, in Super Bowl 56, Apple surrendered the game-winning touchdown by Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
This season, Apple recorded 49 combined tackles (35 solo, 14 assisted) and eight passes defensed. In coverage, Apple allowed 45 receptions for 657 yards and three touchdowns on 79 targets.
It will be interesting to see what the market will be for Apple this offseason.