Benjamin was the 28th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but the emergence of third-year receiver Devin Funchess this season has apparently made Benjamin expendable.
But remember that Panthers GM Marty Hurney and first-year Buffalo GM Brandon Beane (a former Panthers lifer) are long friends.
Watkins, of course, was shipped off to Los Angeles just before the start of the season, leaving Buffalo with arguably the worst wide receiving corps in the NFL. He put up a solid rookie season with 73 receptions for 1008 yards and nine touchdowns. Benjamin is due for a huge raise next season and would count $8.5 million against the cap if he was retained, but that's really a bargain of a price for the team's top receiver.
The Bills visit the Jets in a divisional match up on Thursday night. An MRI revealed no structural damage and he returned the following week.
Benjamin never lived up to his status as a first-rounder and the team needed to shake up their offense.
So, why would the Panthers deal their best wide receiver? His 32 catches on the season immediately become the most among all Bills receivers, as the previous leader was Jordan Matthews with 15.
With Benjamin gone, it opens up more opportunities for smaller receiving options like Curtis Samuel, Russell Shepard and Christian McCaffrey. They are still without Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, who is now on injured reserve with a broken foot.