Jeremy Fowler of ESON is reporting that the Jaguars may be shopping cornerback CJ Henderson just one year after drafting him with the 9th pick in the 2020 draft.
A surprise: 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.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 8, 2021
Though it has happened before it is extremely rare for a draft pick to be traded so early in a contract. The most recent example was Minkah Fitzpatrick who was traded from the Dolphins to the Steelers a year and a few games after being drafted. Prior to that may have been Trent Richardson. Henderson only played in 8 games as a rookie after an injury forced him to IR.
Fowler did clarify that there is nothing bad between Henderson and the team so perhaps they are just floating things out there to see what they could recapture in a trade or to let teams know he could be available in season. Henderson obviously was thought highly of around the NFL and with the Jaguars already having paid $13.1 million of his $20.5 million contract he would provide a team with incredibly cheap talent at the position.
The Jaguars are a team on the rebuild and while they did add a lot of parts this year to be more competitive they have many long term needs, some of which can probably only be addressed in the draft, such as finding a better pass rush, left tackle and potentially receivers.
The team did sign Shaquill Griffin in free agency and the 2022 class looks to have some value. Among younger players who will be available are JC Jackson of the Patriots, Darious Williams of the Rams and Marshon Lattimore of the Saints. Veteran names include Stephon Gilmore. Joe Haden, and Kyle Fuller. There may be a case to be made that if they can recover a 1st round pick they could have a better chance of filling the corner void in free agency and other voids with a pick. Otherwise it makes little sense to bail that quick on a young player especially one that hasnt event played a game with the new coaching staff.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.