Similar to the Falcons, the Jaguars are entering the first year of a new regime and selected a cornerback in the first round of last year’s NFL draft — A.J. Terrell and C.J. Henderson. The difference is Atlanta seems to be impressed internally with Terrell’s development, while Jacksonville could feel less confident in their second-year corner. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Jaguars have given the impression to other teams that they’re willing to trade 2020 first-round pick C.J. Henderson just a year after drafting the cornerback with the ninth overall selection.
Fowler did report Sunday that the team and Henderson are in good standing, but the front office and coaching staff apparently like the other corners enough to put Henderson on the trade block. Per Fowler, the team could very well keep him, but “multiple team execs believe” he’s already available. With Shaquil Griffin signing a three-year deal to come to Jacksonville and Tyson Campbell being drafted with the 33rd overall pick in April’s draft, the Falcons could potentially swoop up the former Florida Gator.
If Terry Fontenot were to acquire him, the Falcons would take on a three-year, $7.43 million fully guaranteed deal for Henderson with the ability to pick up his fifth-year option for 2024. Henderson’s rookie season was an inconsistent year hindered by a groin injury that kept him out of eight games while starting the other eight, where he recorded six pass deflections and one interception. Coming out of Florida, he had the best man-to-man traits in his draft class outside of Jeff Okudah.
In Henderson’s first game as a professional, he flashed that potential. Against the Colts, he had an interception and three pass breakups, but he wasn’t able to sustain that kind of success. He’s still a gifted athlete, and it should be noted that he’s a young player at a position with a steep learning curve in the NFL. There’s a high ceiling with him, but even though I would love if the Falcons picked Henderson up at a discount and think Fontenot should inquire, it doesn’t seem like this regime’s method of operation. With that being said, I would like to be wrong about this one.