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Bills part ways with receiver Kelvin Benjamin

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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The Kelvin Benjamin era in Buffalo has ended in unceremonious fashion.

The Bills announced Tuesday they released Benjamin -- along with wide receiver Andre Holmes -- after just 18 games with the team.

Buffalo traded a third- and seventh-round pick to the Carolina Panthers at last season's trade deadline to acquire the big-bodied receiver in hopes he could become a No. 1 target, but Benjamin struggled to adapt to his new AFC East team and on multiple occasions found himself in the headlines for reasons other than his play on the field.

In six games in 2017, Benjamin caught just 16 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown, and his offseason was highlighted by an odd beef with his former quarterback in Carolina.

Benjamin told The Athletic in August that the Panthers were a "bad fit from the get-go" and that Cam Newton was partially to blame for his lack of success.

"If you would've put me with any other quarterback, let's be real, you know what I'm saying?" Benjamin explained at the time. "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."

It was a strange comment considering Newton's MVP pedigree and penchant to force feed the ball to Benjamin during the three seasons he was healthy. Benjamin had a 1,000-yard season as a rookie, but saw his performance drop off after he missed the 2015 season due to a torn ACL.

Then before a Panthers-Bills preseason game, Benjamin appeared to snub Newton during a pre-game conversation.

Benjamin's 2018 continued to go downhill from there. Benjamin was plagued by drops and ineffective play in September and seemed to criticize the Bills' offensive game plan, and he only recorded seven receptions for 92 yards in his final four games in Western New York.

Benjamin finishes his Bills tenure with 39 catches for 571 yards and two touchdowns.

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