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Panthers agree to terms with cornerback Eli Apple

Panthers aim to add to their secondary depth with the addition of Eli Apple
Credit: AP
New Orleans Saints cornerback Eli Apple (25) and defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (22) congratulate each other after a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Panthers on Thursday agreed to terms on a one-year deal with cornerback Eli Apple, addressing a position of need.

A former Giants' first-round pick in 2016, Apple was traded to the Saints five weeks into the 2018 season. He started 25 games in New Orleans the past two years, with two interceptions and 13 passes defensed.

During his first four seasons, Apple has played 55 career games, starting 48, with three interceptions and 33 passes defensed.

The Panthers spent two picks in last month's draft on cornerbacks when they took Troy Pride Jr. in the fourth round and Stantley Thomas-Oliver III in the seventh. But they've been open about a need to continue adding at the position, and Apple gives them a veteran option to start across from Donte Jackson.

With the new collective bargaining agreement, signing Apple now will not factor into the compensatory draft pick formula for next year.

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