The Darnold-to-Arnold quips are over in Carolina.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Panthers traded tight end Dan Arnold and a 2022 third-round pick to Jacksonville for cornerback C.J. Henderson and a 2022 fifth-rounder. The team later announced the move.
The move to acquire Henderson comes after Panthers rookie corner Jaycee Horn suffered multiple foot fractures in Thursday night's win in Houston. Henderson, a 2020 No. 9 overall pick, has experienced a rocky start to his career in Jacksonville. He played in just eight games as a rookie before going on injured reserve. He missed Sunday's loss to Arizona with a groin injury.
After a tumultuous offseason in which he was on the trade block since training camp, it felt inevitable that the Jags' new brass, led by Urban Meyer, would move on from Henderson at some point. They finally found a taker in Carolina.
Henderson boasts talent that made him a top-10 pick, and the Panthers believe he can thrive in defensive coordinator Phil Snow's system.
For Jacksonville, the move helps upgrade one of the worst tight end groups in the NFL. The Jags pursued the pass-catching Arnold in free agency this offseason before he signed in Carolina. Through three games, the 26-year-old has generated seven catches for 84 yards. He immediately becomes the top TE target for rookie Trevor Lawrence.
The Jags have struggled to find production from the tight end position, with Jacob Hollister's drop leading to an interception in their Week 3 defeat to Arizona underscoring the issues.
The trade figures to open up playing time for impressive rookie Tommy Tremble, whom coach Matt Rhule called "this year's Jeremy Chinn" last week.