Panthers' Cam Newton on Kelvin Benjamin Criticism: I'm in a Lose-Lose with That

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2018

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) talks with Kelvin Benjamin (13) during practice at the NFL team's football training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has no interest in getting into a public war of words with former teammate and current Buffalo Bills receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

"There's no need for me to talk about it," Newton said on Friday, via Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith. "I'm in a lose-lose with that. But I wish him the best."

Benjamin and Newton were teammates in Carolina from 2014-17 until the wideout was traded to Buffalo during the 2017 campaign. And while the two formed a good connection on the field (Benjamin had 168 catches for 2,424 yards and 18 touchdowns as a Panther), their relationship recently was thrust into the spotlight.

Ahead of his team's preseason opener against Newton and the Panthers, the 27-year-old Bills receiver openly criticized his former quarterback to The Athletic's Tim Graham:

"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 Rodgers or Eli Manning or Big Ben—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."

Of note, Newton was named the NFL MVP and led the Panthers to a Super Bowl berth in 2015, a season Benjamin missed due to a torn ACL.

After Benjamin's comments became public, Newton decided to confront his former teammate on the field prior to their exhibition matchup:

Newton apparently said what he needed to say to Benjamin face-to-face, because he has shown no interest in trading barbs through the media or even social media. 

Benjamin is no longer a Panther, and Newton is ready to move on and focus solely on football. 

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