Kelvin Benjamin 'wasn't even trying to listen' to what Cam Newton had to say during awkward pregame chat
The Bills' Benjamin trashed the Panthers and Newton last week and doesn't regret it
Kelvin Benjamin's evening got off to an awkward start Thursday when he had an impromptu chat with Cam Newton prior to the Panthers-Bills preseason game. It's not uncommon for former teammates to catch up but things can get weird quickly if one party had recently trashed the other.
And that's exactly what Benjamin did last week when he told The Athletic that he wished the Panthers had never drafted him and that he would've been much more successful if he had played with a more accurate quarterback.
Carolina took Benjamin in the first round in 2014 and shipped him to Buffalo midway through last season.
Back to Thursday pregame.
Newton approached Benjamin, who appeared uninterested in talking and he walked away a few moments later. Newton followed, still talking while Benjamin shrugged off whatever he was hearing. Frustrated, Newton eventually waved Benjamin off, giving up on any conversation.
Here's the video evidence, via the Charlotte Observer's Jeff Siner:
"I wasn't even trying to listen," Benjamin told reporters after the game, according to Panthers.com
Later he was asked if it this was difficult for him given that he and Newton spent 3.5 seasons together in Carolina, Benjamin said, "Not at all man. I play for the Buffalo Bills. ...
"Moving on from it. Just moving on from it."
Benjamin quickly put the meeting behind him and went on to catch four passes for 59 yards, including this touchdown:
The Panthers traded Benjamin to the Bills two months into last season. And while he wasn't wrong about Newton, who has never been known for his accuracy, this is where we point out that Benjamin's best season came as a rookie in 2014, when he finished with 73 catches for 1,008 yards and 9 touchdowns.
His worst stretch? His six games with the Bills in 2017 that included 16 receptions, 217 yards and a single score. And despite Thursday night's numbers, it's hard to imagine things magically improving this season; Tyrod Taylor was traded to the Browns and three unproven quarterbacks are vying to replace him: veteran AJ McCarron, second-year player Nathan Peterman, and rookie first-rounder Josh Allen.
Benjamin told reporters after his original remarks -- but before Thursday night's midfield meeting with his former quarterback -- that "I was just angry at the time. It just came out," adding that he has no plans to reach out to Newton but hopes to learn from the situation.
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