Cam Newton confronts Kelvin Benjamin on field pregame and things get awkward
The former teammates are probably not best friends these days
When the Carolina Panthers drafted Kelvin Benjamin in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the idea was to pair Benjamin with Cam Newton and allow the quarterback-receiver combo to grow together and blossom into a championship-winning duo.
Narrator voice: "They did not grow together."
In fact, the complete opposite happened! Benjamin produced a 1,000-yard season as a rookie. . The offense struggled badly the year after with Benjamin back and last year, midseason, he was traded.
Benjamin couldn't leave well enough alone, uncorking in an interview with Tim Graham of The Athletic,, he would have been "more successful."
I mean, I felt like I would've been even more successful if ... I don't know, man ... If I would've ... Looking back on it, I should've just been drafted by somebody else. I should've never went to Carolina. Truly, I just think Carolina was bad for me. It was a bad fit from the get-go. If you would've put me with any other quarterback, let's be real, you know what I'm saying? Any other accurate quarterback like Rodgers or Eli Manning or Big Ben -- anybody! -- quarterbacks with knowledge, that know how to place a ball and give you a better chance to catch the ball. It just felt like I wasn't in that position.
The Bills' brass was pretty fired up about the whole thing, rather understandably, given that coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane are both from Carolina.
Fast forward to Thursday night. The Bills were hosting the Panthers in Buffalo for a Week 1 preseason game. This meant, naturally, Benjamin and Newton on the field at the same time before the game. Things got awkward!
Reporters on the scene described it as a bit confrontational, with Jordan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer saying it appeared Benjamin "shrugged [Cam] off," which only managed to make Cam more dismissive and miffed.
A picture from Max Henson of Panthers.com confirms Cam's, ahem, displeasure with the situation.
Video evidence confirms exactly that -- this great clip from Jeff Siner of the Charlotte Observer shows Cam walking up, shooing himself into a one-on-one that Benjamin tries to play off as "oh ha ha hey what's up buddy," only to have Cam get serious. Benjamin tries to walk away, but Cam is having nothing of it, and finally Benjamin is just like "I'm out." Cam appears quite angry.
Cam has every right to be upset. Benjamin was mildly productive in Carolina, and anyone you talk to there agrees he wasn't always a positive influence on his quarterback or the receiver group. After a bad 2016,.
He could be focusing on working hard in Buffalo and trying to earn a new contract, but instead he's turning around and trying to fire unnecessary shots into the past.
This feud isn't over, and don't be surprised if Newton and the Panthers show some interest in hanging several points on the Bills in Thursday night's game.
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