As the NFL Scouting Combine is set to get underway, the free agent rumors are starting to heat up. One of the latest thoughts is that former Cleveland Browns receiver/kick returner Travis Benjamin might soon be on his way to the Atlanta Falcons.
Benjamin was drafted 100th overall by the Browns in 2012 out of the University of Miami. He got off to a slow start to his career with just 41 receptions. He caught 68 passes in 2015 for 966 yards and five touchdowns. Benjamin and tight end Gary Barnidge became the favorite targets for the Browns’ trio of quarterbacks with troubled receiver Josh Gordon serving a full-year suspension.
The Falcons are looking to find a solid No. 2 receiver while also freeing up a little cap space. Julio Jones is Matt Ryan‘s go-to guy in the offense, but the team lacked depth. Jones caught 136 passes for 1,871 yards while the second leading pass catcher was tailback Devonta Freeman with 73 receptions.
The addition of Benjamin would give the Falcons a clear second option and also allow them to get rid of unnecessary contracts. Devin Hester has done virtually nothing, yet he’ll occupy over $3.8 million against the salary cap if he remains with the team. Atlanta may also explore other options with Roddy White, who only managed 43 grabs in 2015.
The San Diego Chargers may also be interested in Benjamin if Atlanta doesn’t make a deal. Benjamin and Keenan Allen would be the top receivers in San Diego. San Diego and Atlanta are similar in the sense that they both have a lot of talent but haven’t been able to take the leap to the next level. Each could use a weapon like Benjamin to bolster the passing attack in 2016.