4 Carolina Panthers players on the hot seat at training camp in 2023

- The second-year LB

- The transitioning edge presence

- The struggling CB

- The fringe QB

Yetur Gross-Matos
Yetur Gross-Matos / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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C.J. Henderson - Carolina Panthers CB

It's now or never for C.J. Henderson.

Much like the situation with Yetur Gross-Matos, it's surprising to see Henderson in with a shot at potentially impacting the starting rotation next season. The Carolina Panthers didn't strengthen their cornerback options despite questions surrounding most within the room, which is a gamble that could genuinely go either way when competitive action begins.

Henderson hasn't come anywhere close to his pre-draft projections. Tabbed as the next great shutdown cornerback after a sensational college career at Florida, he was traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars after just one season and has flattered to deceive with the Panthers more often than not despite the odd good performance.

It won't have come as a great shock to Henderson when the Panthers opted to decline his fifth-year option. And yet, those in power clearly feel like their coaching can provide the spark that unlocks his true potential.

Again, there is a fine line here. Henderson has to hit the ground running at camp and prove worthy of similar responsibilities next season, which won't be easy against Carolina's revamped pass-catching unit that now features Jonathan Mingo, D.J. Chark, and Adam Thielen.

Anything less than an outstanding camp is going to cast further doubt on Henderson's credentials. Something that could force the Panthers to look elsewhere before Week 1.