The Carolina Panthers made a deadline deal with the Buffalo Bills, trading their No. 1 receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills for two draft picks. Benjamin has been dealing with injuries this season and hasn't been able to return to the dominant receiver he was his first couple of years in the league. With their tight end Greg Olsen out due to a broken foot, the Panthers relied on Benjamin to carry the load of being the team's top receiver. He hasn't fully lived up to expectations, and now he is in Buffalo. This could be a move the Panthers made looking toward the future, or they felt the Benjamin project wasn't working.

A report by ESPN has relayed the information on this trade and the speculation on why it took place.


The Panthers send Benjamin to the Bills, where he will be reunited with head coach Sean Mcdermott, who served as the defensive coordinator for the Panthers during his time there. The Bills send the Panthers a third and seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. That is quite the deal for a player with Benjamin's potential. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Benjamin is a great deep ball threat and red zone receiver for Bills QB Tyrod Taylor. Benjamin missed the 2015 season due to an ACL tear, and this season he is experiencing some pain in that same knee. Despite this being a big splash for the Bills, it is also a risky move, as Benjamin's knee injury raises concern.

Benjamin had over 1000 yards his rookie year along with nine touchdowns. After missing 2015, he returned in 2016 with 941 yards and seven touchdowns. He hasn't been the same since then, as there have been stories of him coming into training camp overweight and not in the best of shape. Being reunited with his former coach and the presence of a run game with LeSean McCoy could help Benjamin get going this year.

Motivation Factor

The Panthers made this deal right before the 4 PM ET deadline for trades in the NFL, so why would they trade away their top receiver? They do have a star in the making with Devin Funchess, who has made great strides this year. They also have rookie running back Christian McCaffrey, who is second on the team in receiving yards, behind Benjamin.

The Panthers might feel comfortable with the receiving core they are working with and possibly wanted to get as much as they could for Benjamin.

The Panthers felt that Benjamin wouldn't want to sign a long-term deal with them after this season. They wanted to see how much they could get for them while they still had the chance. Benjamin should have motivation now that he is traded to prove to all the NFL teams that he can return to his dominant form and garner a big contract in the offseason.