4 pending Carolina Panthers free agents who probably won't be back in 2024

C.J. Henderson
C.J. Henderson / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

C.J. Henderson - Carolina Panthers CB

To say this upcoming season is a career-defining one for C.J. Henderson would be a massive understatement. The cornerback has failed to get anywhere near pre-draft expectations after being taken No. 9 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020, with a trade to the Carolina Panthers not bringing the necessary improvements based on his full body of work.

There are times when Henderson looks like a highly-capable performer. But consistency remains a real issue and not picking up his fifth-year option this offseason was an extremely easy decision for those in power.

Things look especially bleak for Henderson, but all hope is not lost. The Panthers did little to strengthen their cornerback options throughout the spring, which indicates the new coaching staff is not ready to give up on the former Florida star just yet.

Whether it's from a starting position or a key rotational role, Henderson must produce the goods in 2023. Anything less would make it hard to justify another deal from Carolina's point of view.

Considering the questions about Henderson's love for football and his inconsistent production, a situation could also arise where he's out of the league entirely.