After Thursday night’s matchup, the Carolina Panthers moved to 3-0 but lost two of their top players to injury in the process, including 2021 first-round pick CB Jaycee Horn. However, the Panthers traded for a former first-rounder in C.J. Henderson yesterday, which will fill the new-era Panthers’ glaring hole at the cornerback position. The exact terms of the deal are as follows: the Panthers will trade TE Dan Arnold and a 2022 third-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for CB C.J. Henderson and a 2022 fifth-round pick.
Henderson has had an underwhelming start to his professional career after being a stand-out at The University of Florida. With stats such as six interceptions and 20 passes defended through 30 games (even adding two touchdowns in the process) with the Gators, he was a sure-fire pick for the Jaguars. However, he’s only played in eight games last season due to multiple injuries and is still not at 100% even now.
Sure, he could’ve had better NFL stats (one INT, six PDs, one FF, and 36 tackles) last year, but Abs argues that this just looks like things to come and that this slow progress is ok considering that he only played in eight games. That being said, these numbers don’t look like #9 overall pick numbers, so the criticism is fair. However, is it worth giving up on him just after a year? That’s the tricky part, and it certainly is a curious decision to see this trade being made now that we can see what the return is for him. Hopefully, now that he’s paired with this unstoppable Carolina defense, Henderson can make somewhat of a resurgence in his career and play like the number nine overall pick that he is!
Also, to reiterate what I wrote three days ago on my Carolina injury crisis article, CB Rashaan Melvin has been signed to the 53-man active roster ahead of Carolina’s Week 4 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. As he had been a practice squad elevation player for the two maximum weeks a practice squad player can be elevated, he needed to be on the 53-man from now on if the Panthers wanted to use him at any point this season. That is exactly what has happened yesterday, and he will earn $1.08M (veteran’s minimum salary for a player with seven or more seasons worth of experience) this season on a one-year pact. Melvin and Henderson will be welcome news for this Panthers organization, and Abs can’t wait to see how dynamic of a secondary this Panthers defense will have once Horn gets to play alongside Henderson!
- Henderson’s College Statistics: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/cj-henderson-1.html
- Henderson’s NFL Statistics: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/H/HendCJ00.htm
Edited By: Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.