Kelvin Benjamin, Chiefs Reportedly Agree to 1-Year Contract After Bills Release


BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 25: Kelvin Benjamin #13 of the Buffalo Bills runs after catching a pass in the first quarter during NFL game action as Jalen Ramsey #20 of the Jacksonville Jaguars defends at New Era Field on November 25, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Free-agent wide receiverKelvin Benjaminis signing with theKansas City Chiefson aone-year deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefterreported on Thursday. He’ll be a free agent again after the 2018 campaign. 

The 6’5″, 245-pound Benjamin was released by theBuffalo Billson December 4 and went unclaimed on waivers.

Buffalo acquired the 27-year-old veteran from theCarolina Panthersin October 2017, but he couldn’t find success in Western New York.

After posting a pedestrian 16 catches for 217 yards and a touchdown in 2017, the bottom fell out in 2018 as he caught just 23 passes on 62 targets for 354 yards and one touchdown in 12 games. His 37.1 percent catch rate with the Bills ranked third-worst in the league among all qualified pass-catchers at the time of his release.

Vic Carucci of theBuffalo Newscalled him a “big-time bust in every sense of the term,” and Benjamin’s perceived lack of effort was noted bynumeroussources, including theDemocrat & Chronicle’sSal Maiorana:

Sal Maiorana@salmaiorana

Kelvin Benjamin was one of the most disappointing players I can ever recall covering. I can’t remember a guy who seemed to care less about his craft.

Benjamin also notably declined to work with quarterback Josh Allen prior to an October 14 game against theHouston Texans, per Jenna Cottrell ofABC’s Rochester affiliate.

Matthew Fairburn of The Athleticoffered a different perspective on Benjamin’s tenure, noting that he “certainly underperformed during his time in Buffalo. But some of those factors—two coordinators, six quarterbacks, injuries—were out of his control. Others, like his body language and effort, were well within his control.”

Fairburn also wrote that some people inside the building had no issues with Benjamin’s effort and that a torn meniscus suffered during his second game of his Bills tenure in 2017 hindered his success.

Benjamin’sNFLcareer started with much promise. The Panthers took him 28th overall in the 2014 NFL draft and immediately planted him as a starting wideout. In 16 games, Benjamin caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns, all of which are career-highs.

Unfortunately, Benjamin hasn’t been the same player since suffering a torn ACL in a 2015 preseason practice. He missed all of that year and came back in 2016, but his production has gone south since the present date.

If his form is closer to the one seen in Buffalo, then Benjamin’s tenure with the Chiefs may not last long.

However, if Benjamin finds the magic he showed in 2014 when he was quarterbackCam Newton‘s favorite target and made a couple of highlight-reelcatches, then Kansas City will be getting a steal. 

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