Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin shared some heated words prior to Thursday's preseason opener at New Era Field.
Days after Benjamin trashed Newton in a Q&A with The Athletic's Tim Graham, the two had an extended discussion that started with Benjamin leaving Newton hanging on a handshake.
When Benjamin tried to walk away from his former signal-caller in the middle of the confrontation, Newton followed him and tried to continue the conversation before giving him a dismissive wave:
Given the way Benjamin took aim at Newton and the Panthers, it's not hard to see why Carolina's signal-caller appeared upset.
Speaking to Graham, Benjamin said he believes his career would have played out differently to this point if he hadn't landed with a passer of Newton's caliber:
I mean, I felt like I would've been even more successful if … I don't know, man … If I would've … Looking back on it, I should've just been drafted by somebody else. I should've never went to Carolina. Truly, I just think Carolina was bad for me. It was a bad fit from the get-go. If you would've put me with any other quarterback, let's be real, you know what I'm saying? 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.
Newton later responded in an Instagram story and claimed he didn't plan on engaging in a war of words with Benjamin.
"I ain't gonna go back and forth with him. I'm just gonna work," he said.
Apparently that plan changed Thursday.