The Carolina Panthers are closing in on a trade that would send former No. 9 overall selection C.J. Henderson from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for tight end Dan Arnold and a third-round pick, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. Carolina will also receive a fifth-round pick as part of the deal.
Henderson had been rumored on the trade block this summer after Jacksonville signed veteran cornerback Shaquill Griffin and drafted Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jaguars coach Urban Meyer had said in August of trading Henderson, according to The Florida Times-Union: "I don't see that as an option. I see a guy that's fighting through stuff right now and the stuff is a lot. He had to get ready for training camp, [then] boom, COVID. Last year, obviously [his] rookie year started off strong and then [fought] with injuries, so there's a lot to this."
The decision to acquire Henderson is in line with the sound decision-making that has led the Carolina organization to build a strong defensive foundation. The NFC South franchise is buying low on a prospect regarded as having top-10 overall ability as well as three years remaining on a rookie deal, plus the fifth-year option.
Henderson has played 104 defensive snaps in two games. In those opportunities, he has registered eight tackles. Henderson was inactive for Sunday's game against Arizona after being a limited participant in practice Friday. He was listed with a groin injury and an illness. PFF had him with a 51.5 (on a scale to 100) grade entering Week 3.
The Florida cornerback was the second taken behind Ohio State's Jeff Okudah in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Arnold, 26, has recorded seven receptions for 84 yards in three games after being signed as a free agent in the offseason. His departure clears the way for Notre Dame rookie tight end Tommy Tremble to receive more playing time. Tremble had two touches for 37 yards and one touchdown in the team's primetime win over Houston.
The news comes after the Panthers' own No. 8 overall selection Jaycee Horn suffered multiple foot fractures in Thursday's win over the Texans. Horn will be out for a significant amount of time, and potentially the duration of the season if he opts for surgery.
It is a sad day for puns as the Darnold to D. Arnold well has run dry.