3 players who are definitely entering their last season with the Carolina Panthers in 2023

Stephen Sullivan
Stephen Sullivan / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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C.J. Henderson - Carolina Panthers CB

When the Carolina Panthers acquired C.J. Henderson via trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars, it was seen as a win-win for all parties. The cornerback got a fresh start elsewhere and the team that drafted him No. 9 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft at least got some compensation back in return after a dismal start to his NFL journey.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, there's been nothing to suggest Henderson was worth the third-round compensation. There have been some encouraging moments - most notably during his Week 8 performance at the Atlanta Falcons last season - but it's been nowhere near consistent enough when one examines his full body of work.

The final straw for many fans was Henderson's performance in the Panthers' divisional title showdown at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17. With the NFC South at stake and Jaycee Horn sidelined, the Florida product and Keith Taylor Jr. were torched throughout to leave Carolina's playoff aspirations in tatters.

And yet, Henderson has a lifeline. The Panthers have done nothing to strengthen their cornerback options this offseason, which means he'll get another opportunity for prominent reps once again within Ejiro Evero's system.

This is the last chance saloon for Henderson. In all honesty, this comes down to how much the player truly wants to succeed.

An added sense of urgency and improved coaches could make a difference. But the smart money would be on Henderson flattering to deceive and leaving the Panthers in 2024.