The Atlanta Falcons are looking to upgrade their wide receiving corps this offseason. Do they have interest in former Cleveland Brown Travis Benjamin?
According to DraftInsider.net’s Tony Pauline, the Atlanta Falcons are one of two teams that are “in the hunt” for former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin to sign him as a free agent this offseason. The other team reportedly vying for Benjamin’s receiving talents are the San Diego Chargers.
Travis Benjamin, 26, is coming off his best season in the NFL, setting career highs in receptions (68), receiving yards (966), and receiving touchdowns (five). Benjamin also did a fine job contributing on special teams as a punt returner for the 2015 Cleveland Browns with 28 returns for 324 yards and a paydirt.
In his fourth season in the NFL, Travis Benjamin proved that if given ample playing time, he can produce at the professional level. Benjamin started in all but one of the Browns’ 16 games in 2015.
It seems like there is mutual interest between Benjamin and the Atlanta Falcons for several reasons. Atlanta needs a reliable receiving target at both No. 2 and No. 3 behind All-Pro standout wideout Julio Jones. Roddy White is in the twilight of his NFL career, Justin Hardy is only a second year player, and the Falcons’ front office cut last year’s free agent signing in Leonard Hankerson before the end of the 2015 NFL campaign.
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Travis Benjamin is also very familiar with the West Coast offense that Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan runs. Both Benjamin and Shanahan were part of the 2014 Cleveland Browns in the first year of the Mike Pettine era in Cleveland.
With Benjamin reportedly stopping contract talks with the Cleveland Browns yesterday, it seems al the more likely that the fifth-year wideout out of Miami may look to take his talents elsewhere, possibly to the Atlanta Falcons.
It seems that the Atlanta Falcons will look to upgrade their offense in free agency by finding players that have either played for Shanahan before or have a great understanding of his offensive philosophies. That would mean players that have done well in West Coast offenses or offensive linemen that have thrived running a zone blocking scheme could end up being on Atlanta’s radar.
The Atlanta Falcons will probably also use one of their five draft picks in the 2016 NFL Draft on a wide receiver, but most certainly not in the first round. Atlanta has more pressing needs than to get a complimentary wideout for Julio Jones in round one.
However, do expect Shanahan to bring in a few faces he is familiar with to help overhaul his offense in 2016. Travis Benjamin could very well end up on the 2016 Atlanta Falcons.