Things aren’t probably going the way the Jacksonville Jaguars envisioned when they made cornerback C.J. Henderson the ninth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Although the Florida product showed promise last year, a groin injury cut his rookie campaign short. Based on his talent level, it was fair to assume that he wouldn’t have trouble getting back on track but that hasn’t been the case. That has led to talks about the Jags possibly shopping the former Gator.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN recently says that multiple executives believe Henderson is available. He believes that the Jaguars will ultimately keep him, but Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus has already put together a list of possible landing spots for the second-year cornerback. Treash lists three teams as potential trade partners, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Dallas Cowboys, and the New York Jets.
Trading Henderson to the Cards for offensive guard Justin Pugh would be a solid move but New York also makes sense as a potential landing spot. As Treash points out, Bryce Hall and Bless Austin are currently the Jets’ top cornerbacks, so they may be interested in upgrading the position. Although the Jets are in a rebuild, just like the Jaguars, head coach Robert Saleh may want to collect as much talent as possible.
On the other hand, the Cowboys would surely love to bolster their secondary. They lack depth and talent at cornerback and Henderson would be a solid addition to the unit, so that’s another feasible alternative.
Why would the Jacksonville Jaguars want to trade CJ Henderson?
A few months ago, it would have been shocking to hear the Jacksonville Jaguars were willing to shop Henderson but that goes on to show how much has changed since then. Back in March, head coach Urban Meyer said he liked the Florida product and described him as a talented young man. However, potential and talent don’t account for much if you can’t put them to use.
Earlier this year, Henderson underwent labrum surgery. He landed on the COVID-19/Reserver at the end of July. He was absent for the first eight days of training camp and missed the scrimmage the Jaguars held on Sunday due to personal reasons.
The fact the Jaguars have a crowded cornerback room can also facilitate a potential trade. Rookie Tyson Campbell has made strides in training camp and has a legitimate shot to start opposite Shaquill Griffin. Sidney Jones has also had a productive offseason and has managed to stay healthy. Moreover, Tre Herndon has the flexibility to line up in the slot and in the boundaries.
Simply, the Jags can afford to trade Henderson. In fact, they should do so right now when he still has a bit of value and they can get something in return. It’s true that the corner hasn’t had the best offseason, but he is a former first-round selection and he’s just 22 years old. Also, a change of scenery could end up helping him get back on track. For whatever reason, things aren’t working in Jackson and they might not get better, so a trade makes sense for both the team and the player.