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Panthers will pick up option on Kelvin Benjamin

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The Panthers still can’t be sure what they have in Kelvin Benjamin.

But they’re going to commit to him anyway.

Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman told the Charlotte Observer the team plans to pick up the fifth-year option on the wide receiver, who has alternated between good and injured and confusing.

The option will pay Benjamin $8 million for the 2018 season.

The 2014 first-rounder was excellent as a rookie, with 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. But he followed a torn ACL in 2015 (the Panthers went to the Super Bowl without a legitimate starting receiver) with a less-productive 2016 (63 catches for 941 yards and seven touchdowns).

He also he also had moments of inconsistency last year that were bothersome, including the way he gave up pursuit of an interception on the play that resulted in Cam Newton’s shoulder injury (which led to Newton needing surgery next week).

That said, he’s still just 26 and gives Newton a large target, and he remains their best option at the position.

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6 Responses to “Panthers will pick up option on Kelvin Benjamin”
  1. MichaelEdits says: Mar 24, 2017 12:19 PM

    I haven’t figured him out yet either, and I watch every Panthers game like the homer that I am. #KeepPounding

  2. mcjon22 says: Mar 24, 2017 12:43 PM

    They don’t know what they have in Kelvin Benjamin? Really?

    63 less yards receiving from his first year, coming off an ACL injury is certainly splitting hairs.

    16 TD’s in two years of play tells me they have one of the best red zone targets in the NFL, and I’m not even a Panthers fan.

    They’d be silly not to lock this guy up for the foreseeable future.

  3. dickgazinya says: Mar 24, 2017 12:45 PM

    Brickhands. Giant man with big hands that can’t catch the football. Granted Cam throws bullet, but still, being a receiver you need to be able to do that. Cam had Benjamin and Ginn…get the man a couple guys that can catch so they don’t have to constantly rely on Olsen. Funchess might be alright if they’d give him a chance. Mike Williams would be nice

  4. 23tarheel23 says: Mar 24, 2017 2:38 PM

    His drops wasn’t on display this year as much as his lack of focus, discipline, getting open, and being out right lazy.

  5. A happy green parrot says: Mar 24, 2017 2:53 PM

    23tarheel23 says:
    Mar 24, 2017 2:38 PM
    His drops wasn’t on display this year as much as his lack of focus, discipline, getting open, and being out right lazy.

    ———————
    This.

    But he is gifted as hell and perhaps the need to start playing for his next contract along with having that ACL tear farther behind him can get him to start working it more.

  6. nfloracle says: Mar 24, 2017 4:37 PM

    With the moves Gettleman’s been making, I’m thinking the Panthers are either going to be pretty good this year or else they’re going to stink up the joint real bad.

    I mean, with Cam’s shoulder surgery, Oher’s concussion, huge contract for Matt Kalil with his injury history, and so on things could go south in a hurry. On the other hand, maybe the changes will bring the Cats closer to their SuperBowl season of the year before last.

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