We are about four days into the NFL’s free-agent signing period, and most of the big moves have been made. There are a few big names still out there, such as Robert Griffin III and former San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle.
Though Chargers general manager Tom Telesco didn’t make any blockbuster deals, he has made some nice moves that should improve the team from where it was at last season. Ladarius Green and Kendall Reyes have moved on to join new teams, but Telesco has signed three new players while retained a few of his own free agents. Here, we’re going to look at each signing to this point and hand out a letter grade for each.
What goes into that grade? We considered things such as how that player will fit in San Diego, if there was a better option available at the position and the contract the player signed in terms of years and money.
After three very mediocre seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Travis Benjamin had a big year in 2015. His 68 receptions were more than he caught in his first three years in the league combined and he added 966 yards ad five touchdowns. He did this despite a shaky situation at quarterback, where the Browns started three different players last season.
Benjamin is an explosive playmaker that will open the field for the Chargers offense. He will be a good complement on the other side of Keenan Allen, one that possesses blazing speed. He can run right by defensive backs and averaged 14.2 yards per catch last season. In the 16 games he played, he had at least one catch for 20 yards or more in half of the Browns games.
He is an upgrade over Malcom Floyd, who wasn’t effective last season, mostly due to injuries.
In addition, Benjamin can provide the Chargers with a dynamic return man, should they choose to use him in that capacity. That is something was a clear weakness for the team last year.
Benjamin signed a four-year deal worth $24 million with $13 million guaranteed. It was a solid deal, but not one that breaks the bank. This was a good move for the team.