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Whatever anyone says, nobody saw the Cats suddenly trading away Kelvin Benjamin.
That's exactly what they did though, shipping him off to Buffalo in return for 3rd and 7th round picks in next year's draft.
According to beat writer Joe Person at the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers felt that Benjamin and Devin Funchess were essentially duplicate players and the team might be better served creating a spot for younger, faster players like rookie wideout Curtis Samuel to get increased work.
Benjamin had a rocky offseason, what with weight issues and the passing of his mother and his season so far had been marred by knee troubles. Still - he leaves as the leading receiver yardage-wise on the team this year (475 yards).
Given the Panthers complete inability to run the ball this season, parting with arguably their primary receiving threat (as long as Greg Olsen remains sidelined) seems a chancy thing to do. While Carolina is 5-3 so far, the offense has been rocky at best.
The reaction from Panthers fans was certainly not positive and that extended to Benjamin's teammates as well.
Bruh...............😔— Thomas Davis (@ThomasDavisSDTM) October 31, 2017
😮😧😱🤔🙄— charles johnson (@randywattson) October 31, 2017
Smh— Captain Munnerlyn (@captain_41) October 31, 2017
Rabid Panthers fan Steph Curry even weighed in from across the country:
Please help me understand this madness.... https://t.co/lds3DE9ujf— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) October 31, 2017
Cam Newton is scheduled to address the media on Wednesday.
He's now been stripped of one of his favorite targets. Should be an interesting news conference to say the least.