The tumultuous 2017 season, and perhaps career, of New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple is over.
The team announced Wednesday afternoon that it suspended the 22-year-old Apple due to what interim general manager Kevin Abrams said in a team issued statement is "a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team."
The final straw for Apple occurred during Wednesday's practice. According to a report by the NFL Network and confirmed by a source, Apple refused to take the field with the scout team, which led to an argument with Giants cornerbacks coach Tim Walton.
According to ESPN, Apple, who has squabbled with Walton before, had to be restrained by teammates.
After practice, the troubled cornerback twice ducked away from the media looking for a statement on his sit-down with interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo and safety Landon Collins, who during a radio interview with The Michael Kay Show, never mentioned Apple by name, but left no doubt about whom he was referring.
"There is only one corner who needs to grow up and we all know who that is," said Collins during his radio interview.
"That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys, DRC (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) and Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins), I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do.
"That first pick ... he's a cancer," he added, a clear reference to Apple, who was the Giants' first-round pick in 2016.
Apple, who crudely announced to reporters seeking comment about his meeting with Collins and Spagnuolo that he had to defecate, ignited the feud with Collins two weeks ago when he flatly denied Collins' claim that the Pro Bowl safety tried to help him through some personal issues.
More recently, Apple, who was inactive for a four-game stretch that began the weekend before Thanksgiving, irked some of his teammates when during the home game against the Dallas Cowboys, he violated the league's social media policy by retweeting a post by an Ohio State fan club celebrating Cowboys running back Rod Smith's long touchdown reception during a blowout victory over the Giants.
After the meeting with Spagnuolo and Apple Wednesday morning, Collins issued an apology via Twitter for his comments about Apple in which he said: "I met with Coach Spags and Eli this morning and I apologized for the things I said (Tuesday). I never stop supporting my brother/teammate Eli and the rest of my teammates as we move forward. Just want him to know I'm always here for him."
Spagnuolo confirmed the meeting but didn't provide any additional details.
"(Landon and I) had a quick conversation this morning and then I had a quick conversation with Eli," Spagnuolo said. "And then all three of us had a really good conversation and it was very productive and I'll just leave it at that. It's between them and they were really great."
Apple has two years remaining on his rookie deal, both guaranteed. His suspension likely voids whatever guaranteed money remains thus making it easier for the Giants to cut the troubled cornerback if they so choose.
"I just don't know," he said during his weekly radio spot with WFAN Radio. "I don't know what's going to happen, I don't think anyone does."
But if it's up to Manning, he'll be back under center next season for the only NFL team he's known in his 14-year career.
"This is what I love to do," he said. "I love playing football, I love playing quarterback, and I want to continue to do it for the Giants. This is the only team I ever wanted to play for and I don't want to change."
While Manning might not want things to change, he admitted that there is a possibility that a new head coach and general manager might have their own ideas about how to proceed at quarterback, especially given the Giants' historically awful 2017 season that stands at a franchise-record 13 losses.
"I do understand how this season has gone and new people (are) coming in. If they want to make a change, then we'll go down that road," he said.
Manning is due a $5-million roster bonus three days into the 2018 league year that begins in March. He also has a no-trade clause in his contract, which runs through 2019.
With the Giants poised to select no lower than third overall -- they currently have the No. 2 overall pick for next year's draft -- he realizes there is a chance the new general manager might pluck the next franchise quarterback from the incoming class.
Manning has been consistent in his insistence that he has no plans to retire. In fact, if given a chance, Manning said he would be open to competing for the starting job he's held since November 2004.
"Whether they think Davis Webb is the quarterback or they get a quarterback and there's competition, I can compete," he said. "I don't mind competition. I think that's always part of it, you're trying to compete for the starting job and get better. I do want to play. I don't know how many more years I do have but I do think I can play at a high level and while I can, I want to be out there.
"I think I still have good football in me," he added. "I don't want to stop playing football. This is all I want to do. I don't have a backup plan."
--Giants safety Landon Collins has been named the winner of the annual George Young Good Guy Award, as voted on by members of the Pro Football Writers of America.
The award, named after the Giants' late general manager who was readily available and helpful to the media in doing their jobs, is given annually to the player who is most cooperative with the local media.
Before being placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday, Collins, who goes by the Twitter handle "The Humble," has made it a point to be at his locker after every practice and after every game to assist members of the media with doing their jobs.
Offensive lineman Justin Pugh, quarterback Eli Manning, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and tight end Evan Engram placed second through fifth in voting.