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NFL Breaking News: Travis Benjamin, Brandon Mebane, Dwight Lowery sign with the San Diego Chargers

The San Diego Chargers have made a move to bolster their injury-ravaged receiving corps by signing Travis Benjamin away from the Cleveland B


The San Diego Chargers have made a move to bolster their injury-ravaged receiving corps by signing Travis Benjamin away from the Cleveland Browns. The contract has been reported to be for 4 years and $24 million, including $13 million guaranteed. In a year when crazy money is being thrown around on middling players this is a very sensible deal for a wide receiver who just had by far his best season. Benjamin’s production in 2015 outstripped what he had done in the previous three years of his career. With 68 catches, 966 yards and 5 touchdowns he was Cleveland’s second receiver behind the emerging tight end Gary Barnidge. That’s more receptions, yards and touchdowns than any of San Diego’s wide receivers managed in 2015. His big breakout game came in Week 2 when he hauled in 3 passes for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns, as well as a punt return touchdown. That punt return touchdown was not an anomaly, he had 2 others in his time with the Browns so he brings with him a threat San Diego lacked last season. This should be a very exciting addition for Chargers fans. Their offense has long lacked speed to take the top off the defense, and with Antonio Gates not getting any younger and Ladarius Green leaving for Pittsburgh Benjamin is a much-needed target for Philip Rivers. Let’s also not forget that Benjamin, our #1 available wide receiver in this free agent class, did all that damage last year with the Cleveland Browns, who cycled through quarterbacks all season and had one of the worst passing offenses in the league. Having made a big splash for their offense, the Chargers also made signings on defense, adding former Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Brandon Mebane and journeyman safety Dwight Lowery. Mebane has been an integral part of the defensive line rotation for the Seahawks since being drafted by them in 2007, a disruptive presence against the run who can also bring pressure against QBs, even if he’s been better used to force quarterbacks into the arms of waiting DEs than racking up sacks himself. The veteran DT will probably play DE in the Chargers’ 3-4, but his ability to play the middle will allow the Chargers to better execute the fluid fronts they tried to utilise with their defense last season. Lowery will be joining his fifth NFL team in nine seasons in the league. Lowery started at free safety for the Colts last season, and for the Falcons the season before that. He spent three years at the Jaguars between 2011 and 2013, but injuries meant he only appeared in double digit games in the first of those three seasons. Lowery’s three year contract suggests that the team sees him as someone who can at least contribute to their now-vacant free safety spot, though it’s unlikely he’ll be able to fully replace the production that Eric Weddle brought to the team.

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Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

 

I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

NFL Breaking News: Travis Benjamin, Brandon Mebane, Dwight Lowery sign with the San Diego Chargers

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