Landon Collins has apologized for referring to teammate Eli Apple as “a cancer” on the New York Giants.
I met with Coach Spags and Eli this morning and I apologized for the things I said yesterday. 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 @EliApple13— LANDON COLLINS (@TheHumble_21) December 27, 2017
That was probably a good idea for Collins. He can’t really be blamed for being unhappy with Apple after everything that has happened this season, including Apple basically calling him a liar, but the choice of words wasn’t the best.
Using the word “cancer” in reference to another player is about as big an insult as you can throw at someone. The bigger issue, though, is actual cancer victims won’t take kindly to the use of the word in this context.
Keeping issues in-house
When Collins made his initial remarks on Tuesday there were comments here and in the @bigblueview Twitter feed condeming Collins for not keeping his issues with Apple in-house. Yes, “family” issues should be kept in-house when possible but ripping Collins for making this public is off base. Criticize his choice of words, which was likely inappopriate, but Collins isn’t the one who spilled this family business to the media.
A few weeks ago, Collins was asked about the difficult season, both professionally and personally, that Apple was experiencing. Neither his poor, disinterested play nor his mom’s brain surgery were ever a secret. Collins said simply that he and his teammates knew the 22-year-old was struggling, and had met with him to try and help him.
Apple is the one who, when asked about that effort to help, said it never happened. At least not from Collins. There is no other way to look at it than to say Apple stood in front of the media and called Collins a liar.
Collins has done everything he possibly could to help the Giants this season. He defended former coach Ben McAdoo. He put his body on the line, playing a number of games this season with ankle injuries when he probably shouldn’t have. He has never made excuses for his, or the team’s, shortcomings this season.
Considering what we have seen and heard from Apple this year, my view is that I’m going to side with believing Collins’ version of events until it’s proven otherwise. As a future leader of the Giants, Collins should choose his words more carefully. He did not, however, start this mess.
What of Apple’s future?
If Apple wants to pick a fight with Collins, it’s one he is going to lose. Collins is a cornerstone player for the Giants, a critical part of the future. Apple? Not so much.
Whoever, the new coach and general manager are Apple’s future with the team is one of the key decisions they need to make. Is the talent that made him a first-round pick worth keeping around, especially when it seems he has done so much damage to his relationships with players in the locker room? Or, do you give Apple and the Giants a fresh start by moving on from him?
One thing a former front office executive pointed out to me was that the organization also doesn’t want to give Collins the idea that he has the power to determine which players stay or go.
It will be interesting to see how that unfolds.