In what has to be considered some shocking news around the NFL, 2020 first-round pick C.J. Henderson is apparently being shopped in trade talks by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN broke the news on Sunday, indicating that Henderson is “available” via trade.
“Multiple team execs believe Jaguars corner C.J. Henderson — the ninth overall pick in 2020 — is available via trade. Jacksonville has given impression in some league circles that it’s shopping Henderson, a high-pedigree player one year into rookie deal,” the NFL insider reported.
The No. 9 overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft, Henderson played in just eight games as a rookie due to a groin injury — recording 36 tackles, six passes defended and one interception.
Even then, it has to be considered pretty darn surprising. Henderson is not seen as anywhere near a bust. He has the past success to offer upside to interested teams. The 22-year-old cornerback is also playing under his rookie contract, making the finances a non-factor. Below, we look at four ideal destinations for the young corner in a trade.
C.J Henderson trade to the Arizona Cardinals
Arizona missed out on big-name targets during the NFL offseason, opting to bring in the washed Malcolm Butler. It’s a less than ideal scenario for a Cardinals team that will be without Patrick Peterson for the first time in nearly a dozen years.
The Cardinals have always been aggressive on the trade market. They also have one of the best pass-rush tandems in the NFL in that of Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt. Adding C.J. Henderson to the mix for what would likely be a high-round draft pick almost makes too much sense.
C.J. Henderson trade to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Why the heck not? Tampa Bay remained proactive in retaining its championship core from a season ago. Tom Brady and Co. are obviously in win-now mode. It stands to reason that acquiring someone who can make an immediate impact would benefit this team more than the player(s) it selects with the picks sent to Jacksonville in a hypothetical trade, too.
As for a fit in Tampa, the Bucs love what they have in the likes of Jamel Dean, Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting. Even then, adding more depth to the mix with at least one eye on the future could make a ton of sense here.
C.J. Henderson trade to the Kansas City Chiefs
As of right now, Kansas City will trot out the likes of Charvarius Ward, L’Jarius Sneed, Mike Hughes and Deandre Baker as their top cornerbacks this season. For the two-time defending AFC champions, this has to be seen as a pretty big Achilles’ heel. The expectation all along has been that general manager Brett Veach would look to upgrade this area.
Sure Kansas City gave up draft compensation to the Baltimore Ravens in the blockbuster Orlando Brown Jr. trade. That’s fine. What we do know is that the Chiefs have not been afraid to pull off that win-now trade. Adding C.J. Henderson to the mix would be the latest example of this.
San Francisco 49ers trade for C.J. Henderson
49ers general manager John Lynch pulled off the biggest blockbuster of the offseason, acquiring Trey Lance in a move up to the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The cost was two future first-round selections. On the surface, this seems to suggest that San Francisco wouldn’t have the capital to offer up Jacksonville in a trade for Henderson.
That’s just on the surface. Acquiring a 22-year-old player who is on his rookie contract and plays a position of need changes the narrative here. San Francisco has question marks behind Jason Verrett at cornerback. It also has some cap issues. Getting Henderson under team control for at least the next three seasons would be a coup. Perhaps, San Francisco offers up a 2022 second-round pick and another earlier-round selection for Henderson.