The Panthers provided Cam Newton with more than a red zone target in the first round of the NFL Draft, they found him a new friend.
According to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, Benjamin and Newton have been spending plenty of time together on and off the field.
Newton’s still not participating in OTAs after ankle surgery this offseason, but he was throwing on the side with Benjamin and a few other wideouts.
The rookie from Florida State has been getting special attention, spending the weekend in Atlanta with his new quarterback.
“He’s a great quarterback, a great guy,” Benjamin said. “Building that friendship on and off the field, . . . We just went on the boat, went a little swimming, relaxed, . . . We’re always hanging out playing (Madden).”
That’s the kind of bond Newton and Steve Smith never had, which is a significant if unspoken part of the reason Smith was in OTAs with the Ravens today.
Whether Benjamin can ever produce to the level Smith did — with or without being BFFs with his quarterback — remains to be seen. But at this point, the two striking up a bond can’t hurt on a team with few legitimate receiving options.