The Kansas City Chiefs signed ex-Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin this week. Benjamin signed a one year deal with the team.
This low-risk high-reward move shows Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid is committed to bringing in another weapon for the team’s offense. This move could yield enormous dividends for the Chiefs heading into the playoffs. The team’s signing of Benjamin adds to an already potent receiving corps.
The Carolina Panthers drafted Benjamin in the first round with the 28th pick in 2014. He had 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and 9 touchdowns in his first season. He suffered a torn ACL injury which ended his season early in 2015. His production stayed steady upon his return from the injury in 2016. Benjamin’s 63 receptions for 941 yards and 7 TDs looked promising for his future.
A Season Of Disappointment
Benjamin’s on-field production dipped to 32 receptions for 475 yards with 2 TDs in 2017. He compiled 2,424 yards on 168 receptions and 18 TDs in three seasons in Carolina. The Panthers parted ways with Benjamin and traded to him to the Bills in October 2017. The Bills agreed to send a third and a seventh-round pick to the Panthers in 2018 for Benjamin. His output became almost non-existent with the Bills as the team’s direction shifted and he showed little desire to play. In 18 regular season games, Benjamin dwindled to 39 receptions for 571 yards and 2 TDs.
Now Benjamin is on one of the best, high octane offenses in the NFL. His new head coach will demand accountability and put him into a better position to succeed. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound receiver with 35-inch arms joins one of the most dangerous receiving fraternities in football.
The Chiefs can gameplan Benjamin into their high powered offense by creating mismatches against smaller defensive backs. Benjamin will win against defenders in short to mid range matchups. He will use his size, strength, and ability to go up and get the ball at it’s the highest point.
Reid will use Benjamin against defenses already accounting for covering Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Sammy Watkins. Benjamin can revitalize his career in Reid’s offensive scheme and with some big plays will boost the Chiefs playoff chances.
Fresh Start Is A Good Thing
Benjamin is a big bodied receiver who plays with aggression and swag. He played collegiately at Florida State and caught passes in one of the best offenses in college football. Benjamin became FSU quarterback Jameis Winston‘s favorite target, and he grabbed the game-winning touchdown catch in the National Championship game against Auburn.
Sometimes a fresh start on a good team and better coaching can make the difference for a player lacking desire and motivation. Maybe he was frustrated with the Bills inability to score on offense and the constant losing with the Bills might have demoralized Benjamin. He only knows and his stay with the Chiefs will tell if he decided he did not want to be in Buffalo anymore.
By adding another receiver to their roster, this gives Chiefs star QB Patrick Mahomes another dangerous possession target. The signing could be a match made in heaven for both parties, but the jury is still out on Benjamin so stay tuned.