Jaguars trade CB CJ Henderson to Carolina Panthers for TE Dan Arnold, third-round pick
The Jaguars acquired Carolina Panthers tight end Dan Arnold and a third-round pick in exchange for cornerback CJ Henderson and a fifth-round pick, the franchise announced Monday morning.
Henderson, the ninth overall pick in 2020, started the first two games this season but missed Sunday's game against Arizona Cardinals because of a groin injury.
A factor that led to the Jaguars to pursue trading Henderson was his inability to avoid injuries and the emergence of rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell, who started Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, who was the Jaguars' third-leading tackler with eight and had one pass breakup.
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''I think No. 1 the development of Tyson is starting to perform at what we expected him to be — a very talented guy,'' Meyer said. ''We have to improve a lot of areas on our team and this might be a good fresh start for CJ. I love CJ; I spent a lot of time with him and his parents. I think it's going to be good for both of us.''
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Last season, Henderson played eight games before going on season-ending reserve with a groin injury. This spring, Henderson missed all of the offseason program after undergoing labrum surgery. Henderson was placed on the reserve COVID-19 list when camp began July 28 and missed the first eight practices.
A few times when he was on the field during training camp, Henderson looked disinterested and rarely engaged with his teammates.
In August, the Jaguars actively shopped Henderson and there was speculation the New Orleans Saints was looking to acquire a cornerback in a trade after cornerback Patrick Robinson unexpectedly announced his retirement after 11 seasons.
Henderson's career in Jacksonville ends with him playing only 10 games, with one interception, six pass breakups, one forced fumble and 44 tackles.
Free safety Rayshawn Jenkins, one of the team's seven co-captains, said they are not too shaken up over Henderson's departure.
''I feel like we have everybody that we need,'' Jenkins said. ''CJ was a good player. I know he's going to go there and make an immediate impact. We wish him the best."
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Henderson's low-key demeanor didn't appear to be a problem for most of the players in the Jaguars' secondary. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin, one of the defensive vocal leaders, said he had to understand who Henderson was as a person first.
''He definitely more quiet than I am, of course,'' Griffin said. ''So my main thing is the way you approach him. You walk up to him, you talk to him one-on-one. He doesn't do all the extra stuff, he's not that type of guy. He listens and understands what's going on. I at look at CJ and he gives me some type of signal.
''He may not yell it, but I know what's going on. I know what he's thinking, the way he moves. But I had to understand CJ, some people are going to vocal, some are not.''
Jenkins said everybody and interacts with people differently, 'so I wouldn't say it was difficult.'
''I've been plenty situations where I had to communicate or interact with someone that you know just a little different,'' Jenkins said. ''It is what it is, but in terms of hard communicating with him, I wouldn't say that at all.''
Dan Arnold with fourth team in five seasons
Arnold, a fifth-year veteran, has 58 career catches, 799 yards and seven touchdowns. He started his career with the New Orleans Saints in 2018 for two seasons before moving on to Arizona Cardinals in 2019 before a two-year, $6 million free agent contract with the Panthers in March.
After three games with the Panthers, Arnold caught seven passes for 84 yards, including two catches for 23 yards in Sunday's 24-9 win over the Houston Texans.
Arnold participated in his first practice with the Jaguars Monday afternoon at the indoor practice facility. Meyer said Arnold will play Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tight end has been a position of need for the Jaguars since 2018. Coach Urban Meyer gave former University of Florida Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow a shot at making an NFL comeback playing tight end for the first time, but he did not survive the first round of cuts in training camp in August.
Meyer said they pursued Arnold in free agency this spring, but couldn't get a deal worked out.
''He's a hurdler, he's fast and big,'' Meyer said of Arnold. ''His ball skills are very good. He doesn't have a lot of receptions this year. I wanted him, we just couldn't fit it in. The thing that knocked it over the edge with me was when Carolina was hesitant to get rid of him because of his leadership. He (was) on the leadership committee, very well respected.''
Monday's injury report
Cornerback Tre Herndon was a full participant for the first time since he suffered a knee injury during the first preseason game on Aug. 14 against Cleveland. Offensive tackle Cam Robinson (shoulder), offensive guard Andrew Norwell (ankle) and defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (ankle) were all limited.