Eli Apple: I want to go anywhere I’m wanted

Cornerback Eli Apple will once again be an unrestricted free agent next month.

He may or may not return to the Bengals after playing the last two years with the franchise. He’s enjoyed the most productive seasons of his career since 2021, starting 30 games for the franchise. In 2022, he recorded 49 tackles and eight passes defensed.

Apple said during locker cleanup this week that being with Cincinnati has been good for him.

“It definitely brought back the love for the game feeling, especially leaving New Orleans the way I did,” Apple said, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. “And then going to the Panthers and not making it there and coming here and not knowing what to expect and then having the two best years ever in my life.”

Apple added that he’s learned “toughness and grit” being with the Bengals for the last two years.

“It was nothing but football out here,” Apple said. “Really re-connected with some of the guys from college. Realizing the strong survive. That’s the only way. You have to be strong. You have to be tough. Gritty. That’s the only way you get these wins and get these streaks. Consistent effort.”

Apple, 27, has had a tumultuous career, going from a Giants first-round pick to the Saints, and to the Panthers before landing with the Bengals. Whether or not he returns to the franchise, he said he appreciates his time in Cincinnati.

“It’s a beautiful city. [Cincinnati] is underrated. I’ll definitely come back,” Apple said of a possible visit. “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.”

Eli Apple: I want to go anywhere I’m wanted originally appeared on Pro Football Talk