March 09, 2016 - Aaron Wilson
Chargers land Travis Benjamin
Cleveland Browns free agent wide receiver Travis Benjamin is expected to sign with the San Diego Chargers on Wednesday when the free agency signing period begins. The deal is expected to exceed $6 million per year. Benjamin held discussions with the Texans, but didn't come close to a deal. The Atlanta Falcons were another interested suitor.
One of the fastest wide receivers and return specialists in the NFL, Benjamin piqued the Texans and several NFL teams' interest because of his combination of speed and explosiveness.
Benjamin could have provided a deep threat to complement Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and inject their special teams with the ability to score or create shorter fields through better field position.
Benjamin, 26, lacks ideal size at 5-10, 175 pounds, but is supremely athletic with 4.36 speed in the 40-yard dash and a 38-inch vertical leap.
The former Browns fourth-round draft pick from Miami has dealt with injuries in the past, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the 2013 season.
Benjamin has made a full recovery and was extremely productive last season despite a revolving door at quarterback between Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel.
He's coming off an excellent season where he missed no games and caught 68 passes for 966 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 14.2 yards per return.
He returned two punts for touchdowns, including a 78-yard return.
He returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown in 2013. Benjamin returned a punt a franchise-record 93 yards for a touchdown. as a rookie.
In high school, Benjamin also ran track and ran the 100 meters in 10.72 seconds and the 55 meters in 5.4 seconds.
He was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference sprinter for the Hurricanes with a 10.4 in the 100 meters
For his NFL career, Benjamin has caught 109 career passes for 1,683 yards and 10 touchdowns with 1,274 return yards and three scores.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.