Kelvin Benjamin ripped the New York Giants and head coach Joe Judge after the team cut the free agent signee a day before official practices began.
Speaking to NJ.com's Zack Rosenblatt on Wednesday, Benjamin claimed Judge was trying to "sabotage" his opportunity with the Giants after his former general manager with the Carolina Panthers, Dave Gettleman, convinced him to try out for the club this summer.
“To be honest, man, I just felt like it was all a hoax,” Benjamin said. “I felt like they didn’t give me a chance. I finished the conditioning. I finished all of that. I did what I was supposed to do. Everybody in the building was telling me I looked great. They never wanted the narrative to be good about me.”
Benjamin, a veteran wideout, was attempting a return to the NFL as a tight end after having last played in 2018.
"Benjamin weighed 265 pounds at the end of minicamp in June and was told by Giants staff that he needed to get down to 251 pounds for training camp. Instead, he showed up weighing 268 after putting on some muscle, Benjamin said.
"But Benjamin passed the Giants’ conditioning test Tuesday, he said. The test for a tight end consists of the player completing 20 50-yard dashes in under seven seconds. Benjamin said he completed those tests and didn’t hear anything about the Giants being unhappy with his weight."
On Wednesday, Benjamin claimed Judge told him the team was going to fine him for being 17 pounds overweight. After pushing back—and explaining another 17-pound cut would leave him smaller at tight end than he weighed at wideout—Judge backed down.
“He didn’t even talk to me [Tuesday],” Benjamin said. “The day before practice, he didn’t bring all of this up. I just felt like the dude didn’t like me. Mr. Gettleman knew exactly what went down. Everybody in the building was telling me I looked great. I was feeling good. It’s crazy how they twisting the narrative about everything like it’s a joke. They make it seem like we don’t even matter. That’s the thing about humanity, man.”
The former Florida State star said the experience has him ready to return to retirement, but not before excoriating the head coach who cut him.
“I have a perspective on Joe Judge,” Benjamin said. “He’s not a coach that can ever win a Super Bowl because he sits there and cusses all day. You can tell he’s one-sided about everything. He’s a know-it-all. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. We all can learn from each other. We’re all humans at the end of the day. The true colors will come out.”