Wide receiver Travis Benjamin had his best season as a professional during the 2015 season. His quarterbacks included Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown; two signal callers who don’t exactly light your world on fire when it comes to making plays at the NFL level.
Benjamin is a free agent for the 2016 campaign, unless the Browns make a move to retain his services.
It is unclear, at this point, if Cleveland will do their due diligence in order to keep him wearing the orange and brown.
The former Hurricane showed last season, despite sub-par quarterbacking, that he can stretch the field and take the top off of opposing defenses. His speed alone shows why his addition to a team lacking such a weapon makes so much sense.
In comes the San Diego Chargers.
Per a report by Rand Getlin of NFL.com and NFL Network, the Bolts have already expressed interest in the speedy wide receiver. The Falcons have also joined the contest to possibly obtain his services.
With the retirement of Malcom Floyd, the Chargers are looking at running with a receiving corps that lacks experience, featuring only Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson as players with three or more years of starting experience.
Johnson, 29, will enter the 2016 season at 30 years old. Although I think he can make an impact opposite Allen as a No. 2 wideout, infusing some speed via signing Benjamin seems like a no-brainer.
Though Benjamin is a bit undersized at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, his speed and release off of the line of scrimmage make up for a lack of height/stature. The fifth-year speedster achieved career-highs in receptions (68), receiving yards (966) and receiving touchdowns (five) in 2015. Despite the fact that his statistics don’t leap off of the page, one could easily be justified in thinking that the performance of Benjamin would be exponentially better if he had a much better quarterback (say, Philip Rivers?).
Allow me to ask you a question: When was the last time the Bolts had a deep threat who could consistently stretch the field and open up underneath-routes, additionally helping the running game by forcing help over the top via a safety?
Yes, it’s been a long time.
I am not sitting here trying to convince you that signing Travis Benjamin would fix the Chargers’ offense. But adding a dynamic player like him would benefit both the passing game and running attack.
Coaches can only enhance so many attributes about their players. But one cannot teach speed.
Benjamin can fly.
Though his place in an offense may be better suited as an option in the slot, if added to the San Diego roster, he would be interchangeable with current Charger Stevie Johnson. Both are capable of manning the slot and playing outside. Now that the Bolts have brought back offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Benjamin is worth a look during free agency for Tom Telesco and company.
The fact that they are already rumored as interested in the fifth-year product makes perfect sense.
A facet of Benjamin’s game that allows the signing to make perfect sense is his ability to man both the kick and punt returner positions.
Field position matters, big time, when it comes to the game of football. Benjamin is more than capable of taking over in the return game. The 26-year-old has logged three punt return touchdowns during his career.
He is electric in the return game and his addition to the offense would give the Bolts an option it hasn’t had in years.
What say you, Chargers fans? Are you interested in giving Benjamin a contract?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.