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Kelvin Benjamin blasts Cam Newton, Panthers

It’s easy to say there is no love lost between wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and the Carolina Panthers.

Benjamin, a first round draft pick of the Panthers in 2014, told Tim Graham of The Athletic (via Nick Carboni of WCNC) that he felt he wasn’t put in a position to succeed in Charlotte. Benjamin also blames quarterback Cam Newton and that his deficiencies in “accuracy and knowledge” held him back before being traded to the Buffalo Bills last October.

Benjamin further elaborated on the subject early Saturday afternoon.

Benjamin has had a less than stellar start to his NFL career. After tallying 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie, he has had a rough go since. He missed all of the 2015 season after tearing his ACL, and his role in the Panthers offense had diminished over the past two seasons. Benjamin had 32 catches in eight games before being traded. He would finish his time with the Panthers with 2,424 yards and 18 touchdowns. In June, Benjamin told John Wawrow of the Associated Press that he told the Panthers about wanting to move on.

“I didn’t want to be there no more, nah,” he said. “I just felt like they weren’t featuring me more. I was their No. 1, but I wasn’t getting my No. 1 targets.”

Bills general manager Brandon Beane, who worked in the Panthers front office from 2008 to 2016, admitted the Benjamin wasn’t a good fit for Carolina.

“I didn’t think it was a what you’d call a perfect marriage at the time for various reasons, and probably looking at a lot of avenues for blame,” Beane told Wawrow. “I know when he’s healthy what he can do. And you can’t coach size and length that he has. And that’s a weapon to defend.”

Benjamin spent his three years in Carolina with Newton as his quarterback. Newton is not known for being the best passer. He ranks 18th in career passer rating (85.3) among active quarterbacks and 27th in completion percentage (58.5).

For someone like Benjamin, who struggles with getting separating but can win 50-50 balls on smaller corners, a change in scenery was probably best for all involved. That’s what the Bills are banking on at least, as the team hopes that Benjamin will become a top passing threat for the 2018 season.

Featured image by Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

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