The NFL trade deadline is traditionally the least interesting of the major sports cutoffs. Not so this season, especially if you’re a Panthers fan.

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Whatever anyone says, nobody saw the Cats suddenly trading away Kelvin Benjamin.

That’s exactly what they did though, shipping him off to Buffalo in return for 3rd and 7th round picks in next year’s draft.

According to beat writer Joe Person at the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers felt that Benjamin and Devin Funchess were essentially duplicate players and the team might be better served creating a spot for younger, faster players like rookie wideout Curtis Samuel to get increased work.

Benjamin had a rocky offseason, what with weight issues and the passing of his mother and his season so far had been marred by knee troubles. Still – he leaves as the leading receiver yardage-wise on the team this year (475 yards).

Given the Panthers complete inability to run the ball this season, parting with arguably their primary receiving threat (as long as Greg Olsen remains sidelined) seems a chancy thing to do. While Carolina is 5-3 so far, the offense has been rocky at best.

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