Eli Apple remains free agent after deal with Raiders falls through

The Las Vegas Raiders and free-agent cornerback Eli Apple were unable to finalize a contract, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Apple, who played last season with the New Orleans Saints, remains a free agent.

Apple had agreed to a one-year contract with the Raiders on March 18, sources told Schefter, and he had posted to Instagram that he was "excited to start a new journey as a Raider."

Hours after missing out on Apple, the Raiders reached agreement with another defensive back, adding former Browns safety Damarious Randall on a one-year deal, Randall told ESPN's Josina Anderson.

Apple, 24, has shown both great potential and inconsistency while starting 51 games over his four-year career with the New York Giants and Saints. He has three interceptions and 33 passes defensed.

He immediately became a starter for the Saints, who acquired him in a 2018 trade with the Giants, and held the job throughout 2019 until his season ended early because of a Week 16 ankle injury. His size and length make him an asset in man coverage, and he helped steady the Saints' defense as the team finished 13-3 in both 2018 and 2019.

He was a positive locker room fit in New Orleans, where he reunited with former Ohio State teammates such as cornerback Marshon Lattimore, safety Vonn Bell and receiver Michael Thomas. But he did battle inconsistency on the field -- particularly in a 48-46 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in December -- and he led the team with 11 called penalties in 2019 and 10 called penalties in 2018 (after joining the team in Week 8). He was flagged 11 times for pass interference over that span.

Randall, who turns 28 in August, started the past two seasons with the Browns. But after tying for second on the team with four interceptions in 2018, he went the entire 2019 season without a pick.

On Nov. 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Randall was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit. Then for the return trip to Pittsburgh on Dec. 1, Randall was left home after skipping a practice.

The Green Bay Packers selected Randall in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft. They traded him to Cleveland before the 2018 draft for quarterback DeShone Kizer and fourth- and fifth-round pick swaps.

Randall has 14 interceptions, 47 passes defensed, 2.5 sacks and 290 tackles in 65 career games.

Information from ESPN's Jake Trotter and Mike Triplett was used in this report.
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