Former Panthers first-round pick sees his NFL comeback end after one practice

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Kelvin Benjamin’s return to the NFL lasted one practice — if that.

Benjamin, who the Panthers drafted in the first round out of Florida State in 2014, will reportedly be released by the New York Giants. The former wide receiver was trying to make the team as a tight end.

“The Giants are planning to release the big WR who was trying to make the team as a TE. He walked off the field during practice today, talking with GM Dave Gettleman along the way,” Ralph Vacchiano of SNY tweeted Wednesday.

The Giants signed Benjamin in May after he tried out at the team’s rookie minicamp. He had been out of the NFL since 2018 after playing for the Bills and a brief stint with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound wide receiver had his career get off to a solid start with the Carolina Panthers. He caught for more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie and 941 yards and seven scores in 2015, but his production quickly dropped in subsequent seasons and the Panthers traded him to Buffalo in 2017.

In 2018, Benjamin got in a tense exchange with then-Panthers quarterback Cam Newton before a preseason game in Orchard Park, N.Y.

In an interview that offseason, Benjamin had said he would have had a more successful career had he not been drafted by Carolina, and instead by a team that had the “know-how to place a ball and give you a better chance to catch the ball.” Newton was not a fan of that comment and addressed Benjamin during their first reunion.

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