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Why Travis Benjamin Wanted to be a Bolt

A highly coveted free agent, Travis Benjamin had his fair share of suitors.

While many tried to woo the wide receiver, it became clear early on where he wanted to land.

"I'm proud to say Travis Benjamin is a San Diego Charger," he said moments after agreeing on a four-year contract. "I promise I'm going to be all I can be. I've got an opportunity and I don't want to look back.  I always said when I get my opportunity, I won't ever give my job away. This was the best situation for me to show off my talent with the way I play."

One of the NFL's top deep threats, Benjamin tied for the NFL lead last season with four touchdowns when the ball traveled at least 30 yards in the air.  He had 12 receptions of at least 20 yards and six of at least 40.  

After catching passes from nine different quarterbacks over four seasons, the newest Bolt admitted Philip Rivers played a big role in his decision.

"I wanted to come to San Diego to play with a great quarterback like Philip.  The guy is a leader.  He is a fighter.  He is the type of quarterback who as a receiver you wish you get to play with."

Benjamin's wish is now a reality, and number 17 can't wait for the two to get to work.

"The first thing I think of with him is just speed," Rivers said.  "He can really fly.  I think he will come in and fit right in with what we have here.  He's just so explosive. 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."

The 26-year old receiver was also impressed by the other weapons the team has in place, and was eager to join the likes of Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson.

"Keenan and Stevie have probably the best releases off the ball that I've ever seen watching film," he said.  "I've been observing those guys, so I can't wait to get together with them, break down the basics and continue to learn. We're going to be very dangerous.  Throw in Antonio Gates, and there are so many things we can do. When you put all of us on the field at the same time, it can be a scary thing for the defense."

While eager to learn some new tricks from Allen and Johnson, Benjamin is aware he brings a new dynamic to an already potent passing attack.

"I'm at my best catching the ball and getting up field.  I can catch a five or 10 yard slant and take it the distance for 60 or 70 yards.  With Philip at quarterback, I think we can expose the defense and move the ball up and down the field."

Benjamin's prowess as a big play wide receiver is only part of the package he brings to the Bolts.  He ranked third in the NFL last season averaging 11.6 yards per punt return and sixth with 324 total punt return yards.

"That is something I absolutely take pride in," he said.  "When you make a big play on special teams, it is not only big for the return unit but it gets what the offense needs.  It shortens the field to put you in great field position to score easier.

While Benjamin is known for blowing past the opposition, it was his social media accounts that blew up on Wednesday when news of his agreement became public.

"It's a grateful feeling knowing you are actually wanted.  I can already tell this is a great fan base because my notifications on social media have been going crazy! It's insane right now.  I'm really looking forward to putting my best foot forward and give it all I've got." 

A look at newly signed wide receiver Travis Benjamin in action with the Cleveland Browns.

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