Back in April, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin showed up overweight. There were reports at the time that he weighed as much as 280 pounds, though the Panthers denied that was the case. When he showed up at OTAs a month later, Benjamin was still pretty thick, and he admitted disappointment with the fact that he was out of shape.
Now a bit removed from the situation and heading into the long break between OTAs and training camp, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has decided that the problem here is that the media is making too big a deal about a former first-round pick heading into the final year of his rookie contract showing up extremely out of shape.
"This is what frustrates me with the media today," Gettleman said per the Panthers' official website. "They go to DEFCON 5 on everything. Kelvin Benjamin being overweight was not a big deal. It was April 17. Can we all get a grip?"
Let's start here: Gettleman clearly does not understand the DEFCON system. DEFCON (DEFense readiness CONdition) is an alert state used by the United States Armed Forces to describes the levels of readiness of the U.S. military. Contrary to popular belief, DEFCON 5 is the least severe state of alert, while DEFCON 1 is the most severe state.
So, going to DEFCON 5 on everything is actually fairly reasonable. If the media was going to DEFCON 1 on everything, that would be an extreme overreaction of the kind Gettleman is describing.
Second of all, Kelvin Benjamin is is the team's No. 1 wide receiver. And he showed up to camp looking like this:
And running routes like this:
A look at Benjamin pic.twitter.com/AynuopSyLb— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) May 23, 2017
That's an issue, whether Gettleman likes it or not. It's probably not the equivalent of a DEFCON 1 issue, but DEFCON 5 treatment isn't too extreme.