Kelvin Benjamin has taken aim at former Carolina Panthers team-mate Cam Newton, insisting his time with the team would have been more successful if he had played with a an "accurate" quarterback.
Wide receiver Benjamin enjoyed a strong rookie year in 2014, but a torn anterior cruciate ligament dented his progress and he was used in a decreased role the following seasons.
Benjamin was consequently traded to the Buffalo Bills last season and the 27-year-old opened up about his on-field struggles in a wide-ranging interview with The Athletic, reserving particularly strong criticism for Newton.
"I mean, I felt like I would've been even more successful if, I don't know, man, if I would've…I should've just been drafted by somebody else," he said.
"I should've never gone 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 [Aaron] Rodgers or Eli Manning or Big Ben [Roethlisberger] - 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."
In a subsequent Twitter post, Benjamin hit back at those who criticised him for speaking out, saying he cut short his grieving process following the death of his mother to help the team.
I’m just crazy then !!! I was the one who buried my mom and skip the grievance process to get back and help that team .... let be real it’s was all fake .. and to be honest i was salty Who wouldn’t be .... I just ben holding it all in. And now I’m free. Hate me or love me ..— Kelvin Benjamin (@kelvinbenjamin) August 4, 2018
The Panthers quickly moved on from Benjamin as they drafted D.J. Moore as his replacement with the 24th pick of the 2018 draft.
Benjamin tallied 48 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns last year, which was significantly down from his rookie season in which he caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns.
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