Kelvin Benjamin has every opportunity to step up for the Buffalo Bills and be their number one receiver. Through three games, Benjamin has been a major disappointment and a player with plenty of question marks surrounding him.
A big bodied receiver at 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds, Benjamin had a successful first season with Carolina as part of famed wide receiver class of 2014 with 73 catches, 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. He then tallied 63 catches for 941 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016 after missing 2015 with a torn ACL.
What Benjamin has never been is fast. He is bigger than most tight ends in the league and his best attribute is his size because he can body smaller corners and win contested jump-balls in the end zone. However, his abilities as a number one receiver have always been questioned because of durability issues, drops and an inability to get separation.
That leads us to this year. Benjamin is the best out of the Bills current group of receivers, which isn’t exactly saying much and by default makes him the team’s number one receiver. In three games, Benjamin has six receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. The performances are certainly not all his fault due to subpar or inexperienced quarterback play, but there is certainly a good amount of blame that falls to him.
In the Ravens game Week 1, Benjamin dropped a touchdown. During the team’s first drive against the Vikings, he dropped another ball. Later in the game he then dropped what would have been a first and goal at the one if not a touchdown.
Later in the game, it appears that Benjamin was upset about something on the sidelines that required him to be talked to:
Enough is enough at this point with Benjamin. His effort was called into question during the Ravens game and he has continued to drop passes each and every game. What he was upset over, I am not sure, but he is the most experienced receiver in a very inexperienced wide receiver group and still cannot separate himself from the pack.
As thin as the team is at receiver, exploring a trade for Benjamin would be the right move in my eyes. The team should be looking at a stacked 2019 draft for Josh Allen’s top target (and probably his number two target) and getting something for a player that is a free agent at the end of the season is probably a good idea.
Moving Benjamin opens up more targets for Zay Jones, Robert Foster and Ray-Ray McCloud. Not to mention tight ends like Jason Croom and Logan Thomas. Worst-case scenario would be re-signing Jeremy Kerley or making a move like WGR 550’s Nate Geary recommended:
It seems as if Brian Daboll and the Bills offense is currently using different schemes and mismatches to get the ball out of Allen’s hands while he develops into the franchise quarterback rather than having a go-to receiver for the rookie QB. We all know this season is about development for the offense, so why not develop your receivers and quarterback at the same time?
For those who say that Allen needs a top target and someone he can count on, can you really call Benjamin either at this point? He can’t really get open, or consistently catch the football, and he only has six catches through three games. His production won’t be missed all that much because there hasn’t been much if any.
The Bills have moved on or replaced players that have underperformed or don’t fit what they need. As we approach nearly a full year with Kelvin Benjamin, he fits both of those descriptions.
Despite being a former Panthers player, the Bills should move on from someone who doesn’t fit into their long-term plans and not keep him because he is part of their past success.