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Kelvin Benjamin trade forces Cam Newton to spread ball

Kelvin Benjamin gets traded for two draft picks.

A day after Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media about how spreading the ball around on offense has helped, the team decided to trade away their no. 1 receiving option. Benjamin was traded to Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 2018 third and seventh round draft pick, Tuesday.

Talking about Sunday’s 17-3 victory in Tampa Bay Rivera was impressed with the offense’s 17-play scoring drive in the first quarter. A possession that took 8:38 with 10 players touching the ball.

“It was a very meticulous drive,” Rivera said. “If we can spread the ball around it really helps our offensive.”

Starting the season 5-3 pleases Rivera knowing how close they are to being the top NFC team this season.

“I think the coaches done a really nice job in preparation,” Rivera said. “When you see just the missed opportunities…its a positive because that’s just how close we are.

“You get excited about it because you see the potential for growth.”

With Benjamin no longer a Panther it will force quarterback Cam Newton to spread the ball around. This season Benjamin accumulated 32 receptions for 475 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His rookie season in 2014 he caught 73 passes, racked up 1,008 receiving yards for nine touchdowns. The following year he suffered an injury that kept him out the entire 2015 season when Panthers went on their Super Bowl run, finishing the season 17-2 including playoffs.

Panthers would have had to pay Benjamin nearly $8.5 million had they kept him on roster in 2018, according to ESPN.

By Gino Terrell

This article was originally published in MCXV.

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Gino Terrell is the Director of Content at Hidden Valley Culture Blog/In-Depth section. Terrell covered local artists and reviewed mainstream shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area under the Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press, KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate) and American Public Media Group. He's accumulated over 30 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists and founded award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota). He was once the sports editor for the school newspaper, The Oracle. Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026

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