I like Travis Benjamin's game too, but I'm not sure I understand the nonstop barrage of tweets and e-mails that I'm getting from San Diego Chargers fans saying that the team needs to sign the former Cleveland Browns WR.
Guys like Travis Benjamin, who are a little undersized and heavily rely on speed, are usually not very effective for very long in the NFL...
Just today, the Minnesota Vikings cut Mike Wallace, a guy who once signed a $60M free agent deal to join the Miami Dolphins after the Pittsburgh Steelers decided he wasn't worth the money. Similarly, the Buffalo Bills are not itching to re-sign Percy Harvin, despite the impact he makes when he's actually on the field.
Most importantly, though, is the WR position as a whole. Guys that switch teams via big money free agent contracts normally don't find great success with their new team. Here are the guys who switched teams and signed for the most money at the WR position over the last 5 years:
- Jeremy Maclin (Chiefs)
- Eric Decker (Jets)
- Mike Wallace (Dolphins)
- Vincent Jackson (Buccaneers)
- Santonio Holmes (Jets)
Some other big-ticket WRs include Sidney Rice (Seahawks), Steve Breaston (Chiefs), Brad Smith (Bills), Laurent Robinson (Jaguars), Robert Meachem (Chargers), Greg Jennings (Vikings), DeSean Jackson (Redskins), and Torrey Smith (49ers).
Say what you want about each of those signings individually. As a whole, that is not a group that you'd want to tie yourself to as an NFL GM.
If you're signing a big-ticket WR from another team in free agency, more often than not the guy is not going to end up being as valuable as his contract. That's not a recipe for success.
Spotrac has his market value at about $4.3M per year in salary, but my guess is that Benjamin's agent will be looking for something closer to the $8M per year that Torrey Smith got from the 49ers or the $11M per year that Jeremy Maclin got from the Chiefs.
I don't really care how amazing Travis Benjamin is, I think he's outside of the price range that the Chargers should be looking at for WRs. What do you think?