CJ Henderson would ultimately play just 10 games for the Jaguars over the course of his young NFL career.
Deemed expendable due to the rise in play of second-round selection Tyson Campbell, along with an injury history that forced the young cornerback to miss nine games over the past two seasons, Jacksonville and head coach Urban Meyer opted to trade Henderson to the Carolina Panthers earlier this morning.
The compensation? A third-round selection and tight end Dan Arnold. The Jaguars would also send a fifth-round pick to the Panthers.
In total, Henderson will finish his career in Jacksonville having totaled 44 tackles, one tackle for loss and one interception.
For head coach Urban Meyer, the trade was the best situation for both Henderson and the Jaguars. The young defensive back will be able to get a fresh start in a new situation, and the Jaguars can move forward with the players they have at the position, specifically Campbell, Meyer mentioned earlier today.
“He’s started to perform at what we expect him to be, a very, very talented guy,” Meyer said of Campbell.
“You get Tre Herndon back who can play the nickel. We have to improve a lot of areas of our team, and it might be a good fresh start for CJ [Henderson]. [I] had a great visit with his family. I love CJ, spent a lot of time with him and his parents. I think it’s going to be good for both of us.”
The Jaguars have split Campbell’s time in both the slot and outside throughout this season. On Sunday, Campbell filled in for Henderson, recording a pass breakup. While he did give up some yardage to Cardinals receiver A.J. Green, Campbell showed glimpses of what he could provide to the team moving forward.
The Jaguars began trade discussions with the Panthers about a week or so ago. When Carolina lost its first-round corner Jaycee Horn for the season with a broken foot, that would speed up the discussions between the team and Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke.
Arnold, a fifth-year veteran, has played for three teams over his NFL career, producing the most with the Arizona Cardinals in 2020. On the year, Arnold caught 31 passes for 438 yards and four touchdowns. It was the Arizona tape that intrigued Meyer, who says the team attempted to sign him in free agency.
“The thing that knocked [the trade] over the edge with me was when Carolina was hesitant to get rid of him because of his leadership because he’s on the leadership committee,” Meyer said of Arnold.
“He’s very well respected, which those are the mindset things I’m trying to really put together is making sure you get a locker room of that. I’ve talked to him three times already, so he rolls in here at 2:30 and get him to work.”
The veteran tight end will suit up against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday even with it being a short week for Jacksonville. The team is desperate for help at tight end, especially following an injury led to James O’Shaughnessy being placed on the team’s reserve/injured list.