Although still several months away, the 2023-24 season can at least be envisioned now that the NFL Draft is officially in the books. Hopefully, any lingering roster questions will be answered by these new faces. The Carolina Panthers charged proudly into a new era by selecting No. 1 overall pick QB Bryce Young, but there were still tough decisions to be made Monday morning once all of the hoopla settled down.
And, ironically enough, they revolved around two former high-profile prospects. The team is picking up the fifth-year option for defensive tackle Derrick Brown while declining the option of cornerback CJ Henderson, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Both players were top 10 picks from the 2020 NFL Draft, and while neither has met those lofty expectations, their respective trajectories are currently headed in different directions. Brown had 41 total tackles with one sack and 29 quarterback hurries lasts season in Carolina. He has been solid yet unspectacular, but will now have the chance to elevate to the next level.
Henderson was traded to the Panthers from the Jacksonville Jaguars in September of 2021. He recorded 58 combined tackles with two interceptions last season but was a liability in pass coverage with a 106.9 passer rating allowed. The former Florida Gator is just 24 years of age, so there is a chance he could still become a viable part of a team’s secondary.
However, being shipped out by two franchises in less than two years presumes that it could be a very steep climb back to relevance. Henderson cost Carolina a 2022 third-round pick (linebacker Chad Muma).
The Panthers trudge forward, eager to welcome in their highly-anticipated rookie class ahead of a highly-intriguing season.
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Courtesy : https://clutchpoints.com/panthers-news-2-major-contract-decisions-after-2023-nfl-draft