C.J. Henderson

AFC Contract Details: Texans, Sneed, Barrett

Here are some details on recently agreed upon contracts from around the AFC:

  • Myles Bryant, CB/PR (Texans): One year, $1.75MM. According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, Bryant’s new deal in Houston includes a guaranteed amount of $800K comprised of $500K of his 2024 base salary (worth a total of $1.2MM) and a $300K signing bonus. Bryant can earn an additional $250K throughout the season with $14,705 per game active roster bonuses.
  • C.J. Henderson, CB (Texans): One year, $2MM. Wilson reports that Henderson’s contract includes a guaranteed amount of $500K consisting of a $300K signing bonus, like Bryant, and $200K of his 2024 base salary (worth a total of $1.4MM). Henderson will also get a per game active roster bonus, but his will be $17,647 per game for a potential season total of $300K.
  • L’Jarius Sneed, CB (Titans): Four years, $76.4MM. We already knew quite a bit about this deal when it was reported, though some of the figures weren’t completely accurate. While the reported number for guaranteed money was initially $55MM, it’s actually going to be $51.5MM. Per Mike Florio of NBC Sports, Sneed was guaranteed $44MM at signing consisting of Sneed’s $20MM signing bonus, his 2024 and 2025 base salaries of $4.32MM and 18.32MM, and per game active roster bonuses that equal up to $680K in each of the first two years. The per game active roster bonuses are listed as “fully guaranteed,” but they still must be earned with Sneed’s consistent presence on the active roster. Labeling a roster bonus as fully guaranteed usually means that it is prorated like a signing bonus. In theory, if Sneed misses any games in those two seasons, he’ll be forced to pay back a portion of those prorated bonuses. The remaining $7.5MM of guaranteed money comes from Sneed’s 2026 base salary of $15.15MM. His 2026 salary has $11MM guaranteed for injury at signing, which is likely where the $55MM figure came from, but effectively, the contract’s guarantees stand at $51.5MM. Additionally, Sneed’s per game active roster bonus potential season-totals increase in 2026 and 2027 to $850K apiece.
  • Shaquil Barrett, OLB (Dolphins): One year, $7MM. We originally reported on Barrett’s one-year deal being worth a maximum of $9MM, which is still true with incentives, but thanks to Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network, now we have the details. Barrett’s new deal in Miami has an actual base value of $7MM. It includes a guaranteed amount of $6.75MM consisting of a $5.54MM signing bonus and the entirety of Barrett’s 2024 base salary (worth $1.21MM). Barrett can also earn an additional $250K through per game active roster bonuses of $14,705 apiece. Due to tight cap space, though, the Dolphins had to add four void years onto the backend of Barrett’s deal. Whether or not he’s on the roster, he’ll carry a cap hit of $4.43MM in 2025 and $1.11MM in each of the following three seasons.

Texans To Sign CB C.J. Henderson

The Texans will give C.J. Henderson a chance to bounce back. The former top-10 Jaguars pick, who played most of the past three seasons with the Panthers, is signing with the Texans, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler tweets.

Henderson visited Texans brass Thursday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Florida alum has seen his stock dip considerably since coming off the 2020 draft board ninth overall, but he will land another opportunity. Henderson’s Houston deal is worth up to $3.25MM, Fowler adds.

Going from Jacksonville to Carolina early in the 2021 season — for a third-round pick and tight end Dan Arnold — Henderson could not reestablish his value with the NFC South team. The Panthers gave the 6-foot-1 cover man extensive run (22 starts) but did not see him provide an answer. Carolina initially acquired Henderson due to the first of Jaycee Horn‘s NFL injuries, later trading for Stephon Gilmore that year. Henderson again ended up being a Horn replacement, when the 2021 top-10 pick went down with a significant hamstring injury last season, but was not especially effective.

Pro Football Focus’ ratings at this position can fluctuate, partially illustrating cornerback volatility, but the advanced metrics site ranked the the ex-Gator outside the top 100 in each of the past three seasons. Henderson, 25, also allowed a passer rating north of 103 as the closest defender in each of the past three seasons. This resume points to the Texans taking a flier on a player who was once viewed as a high-end prospect.

Henderson is the second former top-10 CB investment the Texans have added this offseason, with Jeff Okudah — chosen third overall in 2020 — signing with the team last week. Houston also features the 2022 No. 3 overall pick — Derek Stingley Jr. — at corner, giving DeMeco Ryans a crew of once-elite prospects. Okudah and Henderson’s trajectories do not match Stingley’s at this point, and Houston will probably do more work at this position. The team was interested in re-signing Steven Nelson, but no deal has been reached more than a week into free agency.

2024 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 2 to officially pick up fifth-year options on 2020 first-rounders who are entering the final year of their rookie deals. The 2020 CBA revamped the option structure and made them fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, fifth-year option salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement and performance- and usage-based benchmarks:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the third-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • At least a 75% snap rate in two of their first three seasons
    • A 75% snap average across all three seasons
    • At least 50% in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will receive the average of the third-25th top salaries at their position.

With the deadline looming, we’ll use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

  1. QB Joe Burrow, Bengals ($29.5MM): Exercised
  2. DE Chase Young, Commanders ($17.45MM): Declined
  3. CB Jeff Okudah, Falcons* ($11.51MM): N/A
  4. T Andrew Thomas, Giants ($14.18MM): Exercised
  5. QB Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins ($23.2MM): Exercised
  6. QB Justin Herbert, Chargers ($29.5MM): Exercised
  7. DT Derrick Brown, Panthers ($11.67MM): Exercised 
  8. LB Isaiah Simmons, Cardinals ($12.72MM): Declined
  9. CB C.J. Henderson, Jaguars** ($11.51MM): Declined
  10. T Jedrick Wills, Browns ($14.18MM): Exercised
  11. T Mekhi Becton, Jets ($12.57MM): Declined
  12. WR Henry Ruggs, Raiders: N/A
  13. T Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers ($18.24MM): Exercised
  14. DT Javon Kinlaw, 49ers ($10.46MM): Declined
  15. WR Jerry Jeudy, Broncos ($14.12MM): Exercised
  16. CB AJ Terrell, Falcons ($12.34MM): Exercised
  17. WR CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys ($17.99MM): Exercised
  18. OL Austin Jackson, Dolphins ($14.18MM): Declined
  19. CB Damon Arnette, Raiders: N/A
  20. DE K’Lavon Chaisson, Jaguars ($12.14MM): Declined
  21. WR Jalen Reagor, Vikings*** ($12.99MM): To decline
  22. WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($19.74MM): Exercised
  23. LB Kenneth Murray, Chargers ($11.73MM): Declined
  24. G Cesar Ruiz, Saints ($14.18MM): Declined
  25. WR Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers ($14.12MM): Exercised
  26. QB Jordan Love, Packers ($20.27MM): Extended through 2024
  27. LB Jordyn Brooks, Seahawks ($12.72MM): Declined
  28. LB Patrick Queen, Ravens ($12.72MM): Declined
  29. T Isaiah Wilson, Titans: N/A
  30. CB Noah Igbinoghene, Dolphins ($11.51MM): Declined
  31. CB Jeff Gladney, Vikings: N/A
  32. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs ($5.46MM): To decline

* = Lions traded Okudah on April 11, 2023
** = Jaguars traded Henderson on Sept. 27, 2021
*** = Eagles traded Reagor on August 31, 2022

Panthers Pick Up Derrick Brown’s Fifth-Year Option, Decline C.J. Henderson’s

A 2021 trade made the Panthers responsible for two fifth-year option decisions ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. The team will only pick up Derrick Brown‘s option, passing on C.J. Henderson‘s.

This was the expected call for the Panthers, who have rebuffed trade inquiries on Brown since the Matt Rhule firing opened the floodgates on that front last year. The Bears inquired about the former top-10 pick in this year’s talks about the No. 1 overall selection, but the sides ended up reaching a deal that included D.J. Moore. Brown is now under contract for two more years.

Since Brown has been a regular starter but one without a Pro Bowl on his resume, he qualifies for the third tier of the fifth-year option structure. That comes out to a manageable $11.67MM fully guaranteed salary for Brown in 2024. Even as Henderson’s playing time drops him to Tier 4 of the option hierarchy ($11.51MM for cornerbacks), the Panthers are passing. Henderson is now in a contract year.

Brown, who turned 25 last month, has continued to elevate his game. Pro Football Focus ranked the former No. 7 overall pick as the game’s seventh-best interior D-lineman last season. The advanced metrics site slotted Brown third overall among interior D-linemen against the run. The Auburn product finished last season with just one sack but batted down seven passes and totaled 17 pressures. That number ranked in the top 15 among pure interior defenders last season.

When the Panthers axed Rhule in October 2022, they fielded calls on a few players. Christian McCaffrey ended up being dealt, but the Panthers hung onto Moore, Brown and Brian Burns. The Panthers relented on Moore when other teams’ interest in the No. 1 overall pick required them to up their offer to the Bears, but Brown and Burns are extension candidates. The Panthers have Burns going into his fifth-year option season, but they have continued to plan for an extension. Brown became extension-eligible in January, but seeing as Monday’s option call locks him down through 2024, it would not be surprising if the team huddled up on a Brown deal next year.

Henderson has not delivered what the Panthers had hoped upon trading for him early during the 2021 season. The Jaguars bailed on the former No. 9 overall draftee early, with Urban Meyer signing off on the September 2021 trade. After going down with an injury midway through his rookie season, Henderson has not become a reliable starter. PFF ranked the Florida alum outside the top 100 at corner in 2021 and ’22.

The Panthers also have potential extension payments coming to Jeremy Chinn and Jaycee Horn; both of whom came up amid the post-Rhule fallout last year. Donte Jackson and Vonn Bell are tied to veteran deals. Up front, no big contracts reside on the Panthers’ payroll. But Burns will likely change that soon. By next summer, both Burns and Brown could be signed to long-term accords. But Monday’s decision bought the Panthers additional time on Brown.

NFC South Rumors: Mayfield, Henderson, Jones, Buccaneers

After months of anticipation and speculation, the Panthers finally made the move to acquire Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield via trade. In the 27-year-old’s first press conference for Carolina, the new passer announced that he has “tweaked his throwing mechanics,” according to Anthony Rizzuti of USA Today.

The change in throwing motion is a direct result of the time Mayfield had to miss last year due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

“When it comes to my shoulder…my throwing motion was extremely violent,” Mayfield explained. “I’ve made some small changes and worked with a great QB coach, Jeff Christensen. He’s helped me get back to a form that…I haven’t thrown the ball this well in a long time. And throwing motion looks a little different and I’m thankful for that.”

Here’s a few other rumors from the NFC South, starting with another note out of the Tar Heel state:

  • The Panthers’ cornerback situation was a bit chaotic last year. After drafting Jaycee Horn in the first round of last year’s draft, and subsequently losing him to a right foot injury, Carolina was forced to acquire both C.J. Henderson and Stephon Gilmore via trades. Henderson spent most of his first season with the Panthers adjusting to his second NFL defensive system in as many years in the league. This offseason, though, he’s reportedly begun to show the talent that got him drafted in the first round in 2020, according to ESPN’s David Newton. If Henderson can develop into a consistent starting talent, this would allow defensive coordinator Phil Snow and secondary coach Steve Wilks to have Horn move inside to play more nickel in passing situations, trusting Henderson and starting cornerback Donte Jackson on the outside.
  • Falcons’ defensive mainstay over the past few years, linebacker Deion Jones, will have a bit more than an injury recovery to battle with this offseason, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta experienced an influx of inside linebacker talent this offseason, bringing in veterans Rashaan Evans and Nick Kwiatkoski in free agency and drafting rookie Troy Andersen in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Jones will be coming off shoulder surgery and head coach Arthur Smith told Ledbetter that “everybody is going to have to earn a spot” at the position.
  • The Buccaneers will have a lot to figure out in their secondary this offseason, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. The team was able to return starting cornerback Carlton Davis on a three-year deal back in March but has two options battling to start opposite him. Both being in contract years, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting will both be working to try and earn a similar new deal to Davis’. Tampa Bay will operate primarily in a nickel-look defense, meaning all three can be on the field, but when they revert to a base formation either Dean or Murphy-Bunting will have to earn that time. Not to mention, in the off case that one or both struggle at any point, veteran safety Logan Ryan is ready and waiting with his years of cornerback experience in his back pocket.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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