When the news of the Carolina Panthers trading Kelvin Benjamin hit the news wire, there was plenty of confusion from fans and even the Panthers players themselves. Trading the former first round pick made little sense. I struggled to understand the move myself.
It was clear the Carolina Panthers needed to get faster at the receiver position. Take the following play for instance.
Here the Bucs could not be less concerned with the Carolina Panthers’ receiver speed. That single Bucs safety hangs out in the middle of the field for a lifetime, knowing he won’t have an issue making it to either of the Panthers receivers.
The Panthers needed an outside speed guy to compliment a big possession receiver. No argument from me there. This would fix so many of the Panthers offensive woes.
My question was “Why is it mandatory to have Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess both on the field?” Couldn’t Benjamin have been benched instead of traded? Wouldn’t that preserve depth at the receiver position?
“13 you’re out, 10 you’re in. Don’t like it? Tough, play better.” Easy peasy.
So why was Kelvin Benjamin really traded?
I have concluded that the real issue causing Kelvin Benjamin to be traded is his lack of self motivation, historically.
If the Carolina Panthers thought Benjamin was a better receiver than Devin Funchess, Funchess would not have been traded. Why? Because Funchess has it within him to get less reps and use it as motivation to get better. Funchess has never had self motivational issues.
Kelvin Benjamin, on the other hand, has a history of showing up overweight and has always had issues giving 100% to begin with. It isn’t difficult to find examples of this. Every single Panthers fan knows what I am talking about, as hard as they would like not to admit it.
Kelvin is a guy that plays football because physically he just can, not because he loves to.
During a radio interview yesterday, Carolina Panthers GM Marty Hurney made an effort to point out that Curtis Samuel loved the game and showed a great passion for football. It was an odd thing to say in the context of the conversation. This tells me that the mental aspect of a football player has been on Marty’s mind lately, likely in relation to Kelvin Benjamin.
Kelvin Benjamin isn’t a guy you can bench and still gives you 100%. Kelvin Benjamin is a guy that gets benched and calls it a season.
The Bottom Line
The Carolina Panthers feel Devin Funchess is a better player than Kelvin Benjamin. Benching Benjamin would have had the same net effect as trading him, mentally gone instead of physically gone. So why not get a couple of draft picks out of him in the process?
As much as I hate to admit it, I agree.Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.