Eli Apple eager for a fresh start in Carolina

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At 25 years old, Eli Apple qualifies as one of the old guys in Carolina.

And on his third team in five years, he’s looking for the clean slate that represents.

The former first-rounder said he’s eager for his new role with the Panthers, which includes being something of a leader in a rebuilt secondary.

“I feel like I’ve seen so much, and I’ve been through a lot — more than the normal guy would,” Apple said, via Myles Simmons of the team’s official website. “I’ve been traded, I’ve been on teams that were really good and teams that were really bad, so I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen every side of, I feel like, the league.

“So I feel like there’s a lot of experience with that and now it’s just about going about my business and doing it at a high level.”

Apple was the 10th overall pick of the Giants in 2016, but was pawned off on the Saints in 2018, when the Giants were resetting and the Saints were heading the other direction. But an ankle injury sent him to injury reserve late last year, and the Saints let him leave in free agency this offseason.

He said he felt like “an elder” in the Panthers secondary, and has been sharing what he learned with fellow starter Donte Jackson and the rest of the young defensive backs there.