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.