Bengals Free Agency: Re-signing Eli Apple was a smart move

Eli Apple, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Eli Apple, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

While Bengals’ free agency has been pretty smooth-sailing to this point, not everyone is on board with the moves the Cincinnati Bengals have made. Alex Kay of Bleacher Report put together a list of every NFL team’s worst free-agent signing and listed Eli Apple as the Bengals’ worst signing.

Here’s what Kay said to back up his claim:

"Apple wasn’t a total disaster last year, but he finished with a mediocre 60.9 PFF grade while starting 15 games for Cincinnati. He allowed 60.3 percent of passes thrown at him to be completed, giving up 602 yards and three touchdowns.The 6’1″, 199-pound corner has the size, speed and athleticism to be an elite corner, but can’t seem to put it all together on the field. Nearly six years after being drafted in the first round, it doesn’t seem like the 26-year-old will ever reach his ceiling.It cost the Bengals only $3.8 million to keep Apple around, but it could cost them dearly if he blows another coverage in a key moment."

Look, I get it. Apple wasn’t the best cornerback in the NFL nor was he in the top 10 at the position. At the same time, though, Apple bounced back in the second half of the season after starting off on a turbulent foot in the first half of his Bengals stint.

As Kay mentioned, Apple was decent in coverage for the most part but all people are going to remember him for is giving up the game-winning touchdown to Cooper Kupp in the Super Bowl. A lot of guys got burned by Kupp last year so why is it when Apple does it that he’s suddenly a terrible option to bring back?

Apple did bring a lot of criticism on himself by talking trash to anyone who would listen but does that make him a bad signing by the Bengals? No way.

Bengals Free Agency: Eli Apple was not a bad signing

Perhaps Kay went with Apple for his Bengals entry because, if we’re being perfectly honest, the team has had a pretty flawless free-agent session so far. They’ve done their best to upgrade the offensive line, signed Hayden Hurst, re-signed B.J. Hill, and brought back some lesser-known names on the roster.

Personally, I’d have put Brandon Allen as the worst free-agent signing by Cincinnati. It’s nothing against Allen but the team had the chance to find a more reliable veteran backup to have behind Joe Burrow but they went with someone who doesn’t give them much of a prayer should Burrow go down.

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What do you think, Bengals fans? Was Eli Apple the team’s worst free-agent signing? If not, who is?