Injecting speed, stretching the field, improving the return game and building depth at wide receiver were among the Chargers' numerous offseason goals.
They accomplished all of that with the addition of WR Travis Benjamin.
San Diego agreed to terms on a four–year deal with the speedy playmaker, who brings a unique dynamic to both the offense and special teams.
Lightning quick with the ball in his hands and a true vertical threat, Benjamin is the type of big-play receiver all teams covet. In fact, he earned his nickname "Rabbit" as a kid when he'd use his athleticism to catch animals as they escaped burning cane fields in Florida.
"We are very happy to add Travis Benjamin to our football team," General Manager Tom Telesco said. "We think he has the potential to help our offense and special teams in many different ways."
"Travis is explosive," added Head Coach Mike McCoy. "He's a playmaker that brings a different dynamic to our team. His speed will be an asset, as he has shown the ability to really stretch the field. We're also excited for what he can do as a returner. His speed and overall athleticism will help us in both phases."
The 26-year old is fresh off a breakout season with the Browns, setting career-highs across the board with 68 catches, 966 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 15 starts. He had 12 receptions of at least 20 yards and six catches over 40 yards in 2015. Benjamin's four touchdown catches on balls thrown at least 30 yards were tied for the most in the NFL. Overall, the 5-10, 175-pound wideout has caught 109 passes for 1,683 yards and 10 touchdowns in 54 games and 21 starts over his four-year career.
"He's just so explosive," said Philip Rivers. "We saw it when we played (Cleveland) last year. He makes defenses look out because he can run by you in a hurry. He is very versatile and I think he will fit right in as another guy to spread the ball around to. His punt returns are awesome when you watch them, so he will bring a lot to our return game, too."
In addition to his prowess as a wide receiver, Benjamin is also one of the league's top returners, ranking third in the NFL last season averaging 11.6 yards per punt return and sixth with 324 total punt return yards. His 78-yard touchdown Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans earned him the second AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award of his career. Benjamin also holds the Browns record for punt return yards in a game (179 vs. Buffalo in 2013) and longest punt return (93 yards against the Chiefs in 2012).
Benjamin was initially a fourth round pick (100th overall) in the 2012 draft out of Miami where he ranked third in school history with 3,874 all-purpose yards.
A look at newly signed wide receiver Travis Benjamin in action with the Cleveland Browns.