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Should Falcons Trade For Jaguars' First-Round CB Henderson?

Cornerback C.J. Henderson could be made available for trade, but should the Falcons bite?

In any new regime, players who don't fit the system are sometimes made available via trade. Could that be the case with Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback C.J. Henderson? 

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Henderson could be on the trade block after a frustrating start to the offseason under new head coach Urban Meyer. 

Would the Atlanta Falcons be interested in the former first-rounder?

During the pre-NFL Draft cycle last year, multiple mocks indicated that if Henderson were to fall out of the top 15, Atlanta would select the former Gator at No. 16.

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Henderson went top-10, leading to Atlanta selecting Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell. Based off the numbers last season, Terrell was the better of the two in coverage. According to Pro Football Focus, the rookie for Atlanta finished with a 60.8 overall grade; Henderson finished with a 57.9.

Atlanta still has woes in the secondary. Isaiah Oliver returns as the likely No. 2 opposite Terrell. In the slot, Kendall Sheffield should see first reps, which also isn't ideal. Unless a veteran like Fabian Moreau steps up, there's a reason critics are low on the Falcons' secondary improving. 

Would it be better with Henderson? 

Two things would have to happen for a deal to be made. The first would be asking the Falcons' new regime if they believe Henderson's rookie struggles were just a hiccup.

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This is now a franchise led by GM Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith. Smith saw first-hand twice last fall what Henderson could do in coverage as Smith worked as the Tennessee Titans' offensive coordinator. Does he think he'll be a good fit in new Atlanta defensive coordinator Dean Pees' system? 

The other concern will be the asking price. Henderson is only one year into his four-year rookie deal. Everything right now, in terms of salary, is cost-affordable, and the defensive back won't earn more than $2.7 million on his base salary until 2023. 

Of course, that drives up the asking price from Jacksonville. 

Deals like this have happened before. One year after being drafted by the Miami Dolphins, Minkah Fitzpatrick wanted a change of scenery. No longer a fit for coach Brian Flores' system, the Dolphins sent him to Pittsburgh for a first-round pick in 2020, along with several later-round selections. 

The deal worked out for both. Miami added pieces like Austin Jackson and Jason Strowbridge.  Fitzpatrick has been a two-time All-Pro safety in Pittsburgh. 

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For a franchise trying to climb back into relevance, giving up a first-round pick is a high ask. Maybe the Falcons could offer two lesser-round picks? They currently hold two second-round picks from the Julio Jones trade. 

Best-case scenario for an Atlanta team that opts to bid? Henderson has a Fitzpatrick-like maturation into stardom. Worst case? An overpay for a player and a situation that probably merits more research before trigger-pulling.  

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