Buffalo Bills acquire Benjamin in trade with Panthers


Benjamin was the 28th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but the emergence of third-year receiver Devin Funchess this season has apparently made Benjamin expendable.

General manager Brandon Beane hasn't been shy to deal players away in his first year with the team but minutes before the National Football League trade deadline, the Buffalo Bills made a big splash, adding former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

The move immediately improves the Buffalo passing game.

But Benjamin tore knee ligaments before the 2015 season and returned to something like his best last season, with 63 receptions for 941 yards and seven scores.

Benjamin has 32 receptions for 475 yards and two touchdowns this season.

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Benjamin joins plenty of former Panthers up in Buffalo. The Bills, 5-2, will be on the road in Week 9 as they take on the New York Jets this Thursday night. Benjamin is due for a huge raise next season and would count $8.5 million against the cap if he was retained, but that's really a bargain of a price for the team's top receiver.

Benjamin had three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown in Carolina's win Sunday against Tampa Bay. He had been with the Panthers in the preseason.

Greg Olsen will be eligible to return from IR shortly, and No. 2 tight end Ed Dickson has stepped up recently.

The third-round pick acquired by Carolina was the one Buffalo added along with receiver Jordan Matthews in a trade with Philadelphia.