Chargers WR Travis Benjamin hasn’t necessarily done anything wrong as of late, but the recent play of several younger receivers could lead to an early departure for the veteran.
Wide receiver Travis Benjamin signed a four-year, $24 million deal ($13 million guaranteed) with the Chargers in 2016. Coming off a really good season in Cleveland, Benjamin was expected to be the No. 2 receiver in a Philip Rivers-led offense, which had many believing that he’d put up even better numbers.
But that hasn’t been the case. He’s combined for 81 receptions, 1,244 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 30 games. The numbers aren’t that bad, but he has yet to surpass 50 catches and 700 yards in a single season with the Bolts–and the money he’s making is saying he should be up in that range.
However, he deserves praise for being one of the better deep threats in the league.
These players get used the most as "DEEP BALL" guys, stretching the defense vertically.
Even in offenses which prefer the short pass, having a deep threat is huge.#Bucs #Chargers #Patriots #Lions #Seahawks #49ers #LARams #Bills #Dolphins #InBrotherhood #HereWeGo #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/R3FwUbHx7H
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) January 2, 2018
Many assumed the 28-year-old Benjamin would be a candidate for release in the offseason. The Chargers would have saved $5.75 million in cash (only $1.25 million in dead money for 2018), per Spotrac.com. But with a team that is always getting hurt, it didn’t hurt to keep him around.
Things now have changed. The Chargers have their three guys–Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams–doing their thing, but it’s who is behind them that we have to take seriously.
Artavis Scott and Geremy Davis have taken advantage of the preseason, making some impressive catches and moving the chains with ease. Through two games, Davis has caught six balls for 97 yards, including an incredible 47-yard TD in which he used his big body to high point the ball and come down with it with a defender draped all over him. Scott has seven receptions for 80 yards, showing off his skills in space. Undrafted rookie J.J. Jones also looks great in the return game, something Benjamin has had his ups and downs doing. He scored on a 72-yard punt return vs. Seattle. Jones and Scott averaged at least 17.0 yards per return on kick returns in that game, too.
The Chargers have one of the best wide receiver corps in the entire league. The only negative is deciding on who makes the final 53-man roster.
And with the way these young guys are playing, it’s not a safe bet to assume that Benjamin makes the roster.