Panthers To Pick Up CB Jaycee Horn’s Fifth-Year Option

Injuries have marred Jaycee Horn‘s NFL career, and coaching instability has led to five HCs stopping through during the cornerback’s Charlotte run. This staff is still high on the 2021 top-10 pick.

Despite the health issues that have plagued Horn, he is set to see more guaranteed money. The Panthers are picking up Horn’s fifth-year option,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Horn will be tied to the lowest rung on the option ladder; for corners, that number checks in at $12.47MM.

Horn’s option number comes in more than $8MM south of Patrick Surtain‘s. The Broncos chose Surtain one pick later in 2021 and have seen him soar to two Pro Bowls. The Panthers will benefit from Horn being tied to a lower 2025 guarantee, but they have yet to see him justify the Scott Fitterer-Matt Rhule investment. Current GM Dan Morgan did not rejoin the Panthers until after Horn was selected, making it interesting he will pull the trigger on the option for an injury-plagued talent.

Missing 29 games over his three-year Charlotte run, Horn has shown promise when available. Had Horn logged enough defensive snaps to qualify as a regular last season, Pro Football Focus would have ranked him sixth overall among corners. He ranked as a top-30 player by that measurement in 2022, a 13-game campaign. Horn missed 14 games as a rookie due to a broken foot and was shut down for 10 last year because of a hamstring injury.

The Panthers dealt away Donte Jackson from their CB cadre and signed ex-Bills starter Dane Jackson. Horn, however, remains that crew’s centerpiece performer. DC Ejiro Evero will count on Horn staying healthy this year, and Friday’s commitment reflects the Panthers believe the 6-foot-1 cover man is not a sunk cost. This gives the team two more seasons to evaluate Horn, who intercepted three passes in 2022. Horn also secures another eight-figure guarantee despite his bad luck on the health front thus far as a pro.

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