Eli Apple’s Raiders career is over before it started.
After agreeing to terms with the Raiders on a free-agent deal in March, the former Giants cornerback and the team were “unable to finalize a contract,” according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The Raiders didn’t waste any time spending the money that was set aside for Apple, immediately dipping back into the free-agent market to sign former Browns and Packers defensive back Damarious Randall.
Randall, who moved from corner to safety in Cleveland, reportedly will receive a one-year contract worth as much as $3.25 million.
Randall, a 5-foot-11, 196-pounder out of Arizona State, was a first-round pick by the Packers in 2015. He played mostly corner for the Packers, starting 30 games over three seasons, but also played safety as needed. In Cleveland he became a fulltime starter and raised his level of play after moving to safety.
In two seasons with the Browns he had four interceptions, 15 passes defensed, 2.5 sacks and was in on 146 tackles.
In Cleveland, Randall was strong in run support, ranking fourth on the team in tackles (61) even while missing several games in 2019. But the analytic website Pro Football Focus noted his pass coverage wasn’t on the same level. PFF reported he allowed a 120 quarterback rating on 42 targets in his coverage area.
Injuries obviously took a toll on him after putting together a strong 2018 season.
“The Raiders are hoping he can bounce back in 2020 while again becoming the playmaker we have come to expect from his first few seasons,” wrote Rob Goldberg of Bleacher Report. “With his experience and versatility, Randall has a chance to be a valuable part of the pass defense.”