Eli Apple won’t be a Las Vegas Raider after all.
Raiders and former Saints’ CB Eli Apple were unable to finalize a contract, per sources, and Apple remains a free agent. Another one added to the list.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 2, 2020
It’s pretty big news and it has ramifications for the Raiders. Let’s break down what it all means:
How much it saves: Apple agreed to terms to a one-year deal worth $6 million. So, now, the Raiders have more than $11 million in cap room left and that accounts for the draft class. So, the Raiders can spend in free agency some.
Vet cornerback market: Apple was the only cornerback the Raiders agreed to terms with. So, they will surely add at the position. I mentioned the Dre Kirkpatrick possibility earlier this week when he was cut by Cincinnati. In that story, I wondered if the Apple talks broke down, if Kirkpatrick could be a real option
Kirkpatrick played for Las Vegas defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in Cincinnati for the first six years of his career. Another free-agent possibility could include Logan Ryan. He would be a big upgrade over Apple. He may be pricey, but it’s also take-what-you-can-get time for free agents.
The draft: The Raiders will still likely be in the market for a cornerback early in the draft no matter what happens in the free agent pool.
Who remains unsigned: Nine of the 11 other free agents the Raiders agreed to terms with are signed. The remaining two are tight end Nick O’Leary and defensive tackle Daniel Ross. So, as the Apple case shows, nothing is final until it is official.