Take a deep breath, Jordan.
Alright, so here we are, three weeks into the 2021 regular season. The Jaguars are coming off a game in which rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell made his debut on the outside, and struggled to say the least. The ninth overall pick for the Jaguars in the 2020 NFL draft, CB CJ Henderson, missed the game with a groin injury/illness, forcing the Jags to move Campbell to the outside.
News from Ian Rapoport hit the timeline a few minutes ago: The Jaguars are trading cornerback CJ Henderson and a fifth-round pick to the Panthers in exchange for tight end Dan Arnold and a third-round pick.
Where to begin?
How about at the start of free agency? You know, when Dan Arnold was available on the open market...
The Jaguars reportedly had interest in Arnold but couldn't, or wouldn't, pay up for the talented pass-catching tight end. Arnold signed a two-year deal worth $3 million per year with the Panthers. If you like a guy and have the most cap space in football, you're telling me you can't offer more than $3 million per year? Okay.
CJ Henderson had made more headlines off the field than on it for the Jaguars in his young career. We don't need to dive too deep into that, but he'll get a fresh start in Carolina. And regardless of where Henderson is at mentally, he was unquestionably the most talented cornerback on a roster that desperately needs more talent at the cornerback position.
Trading a top ten pick just a little over a year after drafting him is always a bad look, both for the player and the team that drafted him. Of course, it was the former regime, led by Dave Caldwell and Doug Marrone, that selected Henderson.
The Jaguars' current regime had spoken highly of CJ Henderson, but it's now clear they weren't as keen on him as they acted when talking to the media. Reports had surfaced during training camp that the team might look to trade Henderson.
Henderson played in ten games for the Jaguars, registering six passes defended, one interception, one forced fumble, and 44 total tackles.
Tyson Campbell will now assume the mantle of a starting outside cornerback for the Jaguars, while Tre Herndon will presumably take on slot duties if he's able to go in week four. After that, there's very little depth, with the only other cornerbacks on the active roster being 2020 seventh-round pick Chris Claybrooks and Nevin Lawson, who was released by the Raiders a week ago.
Dan Arnold will provide steady hands, plenty of length, and above-average athleticism. He'll join the team on a short week as the Jaguars take on the Bengals in Cincy this Thursday. In three games for the Panthers this season, Arnold caught seven of 11 targets for 84 yards.
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