The Carolina Panthers are one of the NFL’s surprising successes so far this season. On Thursday, quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 304 yards and rushed for two touchdowns as the Panthers moved to 3-0 following a 24-9 victory over the Texans. It was Darnold’s second 300+ yard game on the season and the offense has been rolling so far, although losing Christian McCaffrey for an extended period is going to sting.

The Panthers now find themselves atop the NFC South, which is no small thing considering Tom Brady and the Tampa Buccaneers are right there and the New Orleans Saints have shown some impressive flashes as well. But the Panthers aren’t going to rest on their laurels. They’re looking to build on their great start and keep the momentum going, and they’ve just pulled off a trade that they hope will have a huge impact on them defensively.

Per Ian Rapoport, the Panthers have acquired cornerback CJ Henderson from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The deal sends tight end Dan Arnold and a third-round pick to the Jaguars with Henderson and a fifth-round pick coming back in return. The move gives the Panthers some immediate help to make up for the loss of 2021 first-round pick, cornerback Jaycee Horn, who is going to be out for a long time with multiple broken bones in his right foot.

The 22-year-old Henderson provides Carolina with a younger threat to mix in with A.J. Bouye and Rashaan Melvin, especially as they prefer to play Bouye in the nickel package. Henderson started eight games last season before injuries took their toll. He also started the first two games of this season but was out last weekend with a groin injury. The Panthers seem to be hoping that’s not a long-term issue.

For the Jaguars, the trade gives them a better draft pick to consider as they think longer-term about their rebuilding efforts. Rapoport also reported that Arnold was a big requirement of the deal for Jacksonville, who want more weapons for Trevor Lawrence in the short term.

[Ian Rapoport]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle.