C.J. Henderson

Jaguars Trade C.J. Henderson To Panthers

The Jaguars have agreed to trade former first-round pick C.J. Henderson and a fifth-round choice to the Panthers (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). In return, the Panthers will send tight end Dan Arnold and a third-round pick to the Jaguars. 

[RELATED: Panthers’ Horn To Miss Time]

Henderson will provide immediate help in the secondary, since the Panthers are going to be without Jaycee Horn for a while. Through his first three pro games, the No. 8 overall pick showed promise as he notched three tackles and one interception to his credit. Henderson, meanwhile, has struggled to find his footing as a pro.

The Jaguars’ old regime made Henderson the No. 9 overall pick in 2020. He went on to appear in just eight games, due to a reserve/COVID-19 list stint and shoulder labrum surgery. Reportedly, even when he was there, the ex-Florida Gator appeared to be disinterested at Jags practice. Still, teams were interested in acquiring him this summer, including the Saints.

With Henderson out of the picture, the Jaguars will move forward with Shaquill Griffin and Tre Herndon as their boundary corners with Chris Claybrooks in the slot. Meanwhile, Urban Meyer & Co. will focus on developing rookie second-rounder Tyson Campbell for a larger role.

On the other side of the ball, Arnold provides Trevor Lawrence with an intriguing weapon. Last year, Arnold finished with 31 grabs for 438 yards and four touchdowns for the Cardinals. He went on to sign a two-year, $6MM deal with the Panthers, but he’s seen just eleven targets through three games while rookie Tommy Tremble has gotten more of the attention.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Jaguars, C.J. Henderson

It is safe to say C.J. Henderson‘s stock with the Jaguars has dropped since the previous regime made him the No. 9 overall pick barely a year ago. The second-year cornerback is now in trade rumors, and his standing with Urban Meyer appears less than ideal.

Meyer and assistant head coach Charlie Strong traveled to Henderson’s residence to meet with him recently, Strong said Tuesday (via John Reid of the Florida Times-Union). Henderson has been on the field for just two of the Jaguars’ 11 practices at training camp. He spent time on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list and missed the offseason program due to shoulder labrum surgery. Before the shoulder injury cut his season short, Henderson started eight games as a rookie. He has not been a steady participant since that midseason injury.

The ex-Florida Gator has appeared disinterested at Jags practice, per Reid, and he no-showed the team’s scrimmage Sunday for personal reasons. Strong, however, said he is attempting to help Henderson get back on solid footing with the team.

We didn’t have to go get him to come to the facility, just had a conversation with him,” Strong said of he and Meyer’s visit with Henderson, via Reid. ”Anytime you have a great young man like that, you want to make sure you do everything possible to help him. We know he can make us a lot better football team. He wants to play. He is going to do everything he can to get back.”

Recent reports have indicated execs around the league believe Henderson is available, and that the Saints are interested. Meyer, at least publicly, has not expressed the same kind of support for Henderson compared to Strong. When asked if Henderson will be able to move past this string of absences, the first-year Jags HC offered an “I don’t know.” It is also unknown if Henderson will play in Jacksonville’s preseason opener this week. Shaquill Griffin, Sidney Jones and rookie second-rounder Tyson Campbell have been the Jags’ primary corners thus far in camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Pursuing CBs, Interested In Jaguars’ C.J. Henderson

After their efforts to trade up for a cornerback in the first round failed, the Saints are trying another upgrade avenue months later. They are exploring trade options at corner, Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com tweets.

This includes C.J. Henderson, whom the Jaguars may well be dangling in trades. The Jags are believed to be open to moving last year’s No. 9 overall pick, and Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed adds that Jacksonville’s new Urban Meyer-led regime is not as high on the Florida alum (Twitter link).

New Orleans returns Marshon Lattimore, but previous starter Janoris Jenkins became one of the team’s cap casualties this offseason. Interestingly, the Saints did acquire multiple corners — in third-rounder Paulson Adebo and veteran slot defender Brian Poole — this year. Adding Henderson or someone else on this level would certainly change the equation for the reigning NFC South champs, who made efforts to trade up for Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II this year.

Lattimore is under contract for just one more season, but the Saints are believed to prioritize the former first-round pick over franchise-tagged safety Marcus Williams. A trade for Henderson would be pricey; the Jags are likely making him available only for a major return. But, like Minkah Fitzpatrick at the time he was dealt, Henderson would be attached to three more seasons of rookie-deal money. With Lattimore perhaps on the cusp of securing a top-market cornerback contract, a high-end rookie-deal complementary piece would make sense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jags CB C.J. Henderson Available Via Trade?

The Jaguars used the No. 9 overall pick last year on cornerback C.J. Henderson. Although the young defender saw his rookie season cut short, he was viewed as a foundational piece for the franchise. Jacksonville’s new regime may not feel the same way.

Multiple NFL executives believe Henderson is now available via trade, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Buzz around the league has surfaced that the Jaguars are shopping the second-year corner, Fowler adds. This would certainly be a surprising development, but new decision-makers are running the show now in north Florida.

Henderson, the second corner off the board last year, just came back off the Jags’ reserve/COVID-19 list. While the ex-Florida Gator and the Jags are believed to have a good relationship, Fowler tweets, the prospect he will be traded after one season now appears to be in play.

The Jags’ Dave CaldwellDoug Marrone regime drafted Henderson and plugged him into the starting lineup in Week 1 of last season. Henderson arrived as the centerpiece of the team’s new-look cornerback group, following the trades of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Henderson played in eight games in 2020 but landed on IR in November. Henderson subsequently underwent shoulder labrum surgery. Pro Football Focus graded him as a middle-of-the-pack corner in 2020.

Urban Meyer and GM Trent Baalke have added some notable cornerback pieces this offseason, signing Shaquill Griffin and drafting Tyson Campbell in the second round. Henderson would seemingly still have a starting job in Jacksonville, should the team stand pat, but he would also generate interest. After a rookie season in which Henderson played just half the Jags’ games, however, his trade value may not produce a first-round pick. But given that the Jags covered Henderson’s rookie-contract signing bonus, he will obviously fetch the franchise a notable trade haul. The 22-year-old cover man is signed through 2023, with a fifth-year option covering 2024, and a team that trades for him would only be responsible for his rookie-scale base salaries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: CB Cre’Von LeBlanc
  • Waived: DE Nick Coe, LS Rex Sunahara

New England Patriots

  • Signed: TE David Wells

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/19/20

Here are the most recent NFL minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Placed on IR: CB C.J. Henderson

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: FB C.J. Ham

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Jaguars Sign C.J. Henderson

The Jaguars have signed first-round draft choice C.J. Henderson, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link). Per the terms of his slot, the former Florida corner will take home a four-year, $20.5MM contract (fully-guaranteed), and Rapoport notes that the deal does not include offsets.

While Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah was the most-heralded member of this year’s CB class, Henderson had plenty of fans in NFL front offices. One GM said back in April that he believed a dozen or more of the league’s 32 teams had Henderson ranked higher than Okudah, and the Falcons were trying to trade up from their No. 16 slot to land Henderson.

But the Jags snapped him up with the No. 9 overall pick (Okudah went to the Lions at No. 3). Cornerback was a major need for Jacksonville, as the team traded A.J. Bouye in March after dealing Jalen Ramsey to the Rams in advance of last year’s deadline. The Jags did add several more corners in the draft and signed veteran Rashaan Melvin, but Henderson will open his professional career as a CB1.

He certainly appears ready for the challenge. The 6-1 defender led the Gators with 11 pass breakups in 2019, doing so despite missing three early-season games due to a sprained ankle. He also picked off six passes between his freshman and sophomore seasons, returning two of them for TDs. His length and technique suggest he can be a strong cover corner in the NFL, though he will need to clean up the occasional mental lapse and improve his tackling abilities.

The Jags now have over half of their 12-man rookie class under contract. Here’s the full list, courtesy of PFR’s tracker:

1-9: C.J. Henderson, CB (Florida): Signed
1-20: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE (LSU)
2-42: Laviska Shenault, WR (Colorado): Signed
3-73: Davon Hamilton, DT (Ohio State): Signed
4-116: Ben Bartch, OT (St. John’s (MN)): Signed
4-137: Josiah Scott, CB (Michigan State)
4-140: Shaquille Quarterman, ILB (Miami): Signed
5-157: Daniel Thomas, S (Auburn)
5-165: Collin Johnson, WR (Texas): Signed
6-189: Jake Luton, QB (Oregon State)
6-206: Tyler Davis, TE (Georgia Tech): Signed
7-223: Chris Claybrooks, CB (Memphis)

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Rumors: Dolphins, Raiders, 49ers

Before the Dolphins stuck at No. 5 overall and drafted quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, there were rumblings that Miami wanted to trade up not for a signal-caller, but for an offensive tackle. Had the Dolphins followed through with that plan, they would have been targeting Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Thomas ended up coming off the board to the Giants at No. 4, so Miami would have had to get to the third overall pick in order to have a chance. The Dolphins ended up finding an offensive tackle later in Round 1 with USC’s Austin Jackson:

Here’s more from last night’s action:

  • The Falcons were heavily linked not only to a potential trade up, but specifically to Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson prior to the draft. Atlanta did want to move up for Henderson, per Rapoport (Twitter link), but they couldn’t find a trade partner for a number of reasons. Both the Dolphins and Chargers wanted quarterbacks, the Panthers refused to trade within the division, the Cardinals were stuck on Isaiah Simmons, and the Jaguars wanted Henderson for themselves.
  • The Raiders were attempting to trade back from the 12th pick before selecting Alabama wideout Henry Ruggs, according to Vic Tafur of The Atheltic (Twitter link). Speculatively, Las Vegas may have been happy to land any of the top-three pass-catchers and figured it could move down, acquire more picks, and still find a wide receiver. Instead, the Raiders surprisingly went with Ruggs, who was widely viewed as the third-best WR behind CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy.
  • After trading DeForest Buckner to the Colts in March, the 49ers “quietly” tried to sign several free agent defensive tackles with no success, tweets Rapoport. Instead, San Francisco moved back one pick before adding South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link), Kinlaw was off at least one team’s board due to medical issues. Most clubs, however, deemed him only a “moderate” injury risk.
  • The Cowboys debated between Lamb and LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson at pick No. 17 before ultimately deciding on Lamb, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Chaisson was a popular target for Dallas in many mock drafts, but when Lamb unexpectedly fell to the middle of Round 1, the Cowboys couldn’t pass. Dallas will now feature a superb three-WR set of Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup.

Falcons Prepared To Make “Huge Leap”

The Falcons are working feverishly to move up the board. They continue to be “the team to watch when it comes to moving up in the NFL Draft,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

The Falcons currently hold the No. 16 overall pick, but they’ve been pressing to vault into the Top 10. They have multiple needs on the defensive side – including the pass rush and the interior defensive line – but their top priority is likely at cornerback. With that in mind, Rapoport echoes what we’ve been hearing for a while: Thomas Dimitroff is looking for a high-end cover man with eyes on Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah and Florida’s C.J. Henderson.

Most have projected Okudah to be the first cornerback off the board on Thursday, though not everyone agrees that he is the very best CB in this year’s class. More and more executives seem to be pointing towards Henderson as the best at the position. Recently, Peter King of NBC Sports heard that 40% of NFL teams have Henderson slotted as the CB1, with Okudah somewhere below him.

If the Falcons want to guarantee that they’ll get either player, they may have to move all the way up to No. 3 via trade with the Lions. Okudah has long been connected to Detroit, while Henderson has been flirting with the Top 10 boundary. But, as always, nothing is certain – anonymous sources love to run misdirection this time of year and there’s zero guarantee that Henderson would be available for Atlanta at, say, No. 8.

For what it’s worth, Falcons coach Dan Quinn has told reporters that he sees Kendall Sheffield as a potential CB1 (via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

In our league and division there are certainly some guys that you want to match up on if you need to,” Quinn said. “He’s definitely somebody with the speed and short-space quickness to do that. I definitely think he has a shot to do that, based on his speed and that I just think he’s going to continue to grow. Yeah, we’re very excited about him.

NFL Draft Rumors: Thomas, Henderson, Tua

With the NFL Draft just around the corner, here’s a look at the latest rumblings from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller:

  • There’s increasing chatter about Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson landing in the top 10, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report hears. Henderson hasn’t garnered the same level of hype as Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah over the last few months, but it’s starting to sound like he has closed the gap. Earlier this week, an anonymous GM told Peter King of NBC Sports that 40% of NFL teams likely have Henderson ranked as the draft’s best CB, ahead of Okudah. Miller isn’t convinced that Henderson will go top 10, but the Panthers (No. 7) and Jaguars (No. 9) could give him consideration.
  • Throughout the evaluation process, offensive linemen Jedrick Wills Jr. (Alabama) and Mekhi Becton (Louisville) have been highly touted, and Tristan Wirfs has been connected to the Giants at No. 4. Still, there’s buzz that Georgia’s Andrew Thomas could wind up as the first offensive tackle selected, Miller hears. Some may prefer the upside of Wills and Becton or the four-position potential of Wirfs, but Thomas may be the most NFL-ready of the bunch. Of course, with limited OTAs on the horizon, teams have even less time to teach rookies.
  • If the Dolphins are truly targeting Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa, league officials believe that the Alabama star could drop out of the top 10. Things seemed to be trending up for Tagovailoa after the latest check on his surgically-repaired hip, but it’s possible that teams are skittish without getting their own up-close inspection. Personally, we like Tagovailoa’s chances of going in the top 10 – perhaps from a team leaping up the board – even if Miami passes on him.
  • Earlier today, we profiled Georgia star and potential first-round pick D’Andre Swift.