Bills release veteran receivers Benjamin, Holmes

Sports

The Buffalo Bills on Tuesday announced they have released veteran wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes.

FILE PHOTO: Florida State Seminoles Kelvin Benjamin celebrates after catching the game winning touchdown pass agasinst the Auburn Tigers in the fourth quarter during the BCS Championship football game in Pasadena, California January 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The release of Benjamin is particularly surprising, given the team gave up third- and seventh-round picks to get him from the Carolina Panthers at the trade deadline last season.

But the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Benjamin struggled to fit in with the Bills, making just 39 receptions for 571 yards and two touchdowns in 18 total games with the club. He has 23 catches for 354 yards and one score in 12 games this season.

Benjamin had 1,008 yards as a rookie in 2014 and another 941 in 2016 after a torn ACL cost him the 2015 season. But an apparent falling out with the Panthers led to his exit. In August, Benjamin told The Athletic’s Tim Graham he and Carolina were “a bad fit from the get-go,” and was critical of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

“If you would’ve put me with any other quarterback, let’s be real, you know what I’m saying?” Benjamin told Graham. “Any other accurate quarterback like (Aaron) Rodgers or Eli Manning or Big Ben (Roethlisberger) — anybody! — quarterbacks with knowledge, that know how to place a ball and give you a better chance to catch the ball. It just felt like I wasn’t in that position.”

Holmes was the most experienced receiver on Buffalo’s roster, playing in his seventh professional season. He has just 12 catches for 157 yards without a score this season, his second in Buffalo.

His best year came in 2014, when he had 47 catches for 693 yards and four touchdowns with Oakland.

The moves leave the team with five receivers on the active roster. And of those, only Deonte Thompson has more than two years of experience.

The team also announced the signing of cornerback Denzel Rice and defensive end Mike Love from the practice squad.

The Bills are 4-8 and host the 3-9 New York Jets on Sunday.

—Field Level Media

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