Kelvin Benjamin owners weren’t the only ones who took a hit when the young star tore his ACL last week. Cam Newton’s value also took a serious smack in the chops. In 2014, Newton attempted 448 passes for 3127 yards and 18 TDs, and many of those targets went Benjamin’s way. Benjamin’s injury drastically reduces Newton’s value.
Benjamin was Newton’s safety blanket and go to receiver as the season progressed, especially in the red zone. Newton has a nasty habit of throwing the ball too high for most receivers to catch. What made Benjamin special is that he consistently was able to handle Newton’s errant throws.
Expect Cam’s pass attempts to fall and his rush attempts to increase as he arguably has no viable options at receiver. Cam’s stock should fall quickly, mostly because his value as a rusher will be difficult to replicate, as many defenses gameplan specifically for Cam’s read option, and his scrambling talent. As a result, Cam will find it much more difficult to have success in the run game.
With Benjamin’s injury, Devin Funchess becomes one of the Panthers only viable receivers the team has after tight end Greg Olsen. Carolina expects Funchess to become the team’s go-to-guy, but that’s asking a great deal from an unproven rookie.