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Kelvin Benjamin traded to the Bills

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We did not see this one coming.

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

In a move that we didn’t see coming, the Panthers have traded away Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin is headed to the Buffalo Bills, the team announced Tuesday. The Panthers get a third-round pick and a seventh-round pick out of the deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Brandon Beane said Tuesday not to expect any big moves before the trade deadline, per Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Then the Bills went out and got themselves a true No. 1 wide receiver.

Beane, who was hired by Buffalo this offseason as the team’s general manager, was the director of football operations with the Panthers when the team drafted Benjamin with the 28th overall pick in 2014.

Benjamin also reunites with Bills head coach Sean McDermott, who was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator from 2011 through 2016.

What does this mean for the Panthers? It means that Cam Newton is going to have to count on Devin Funchess and Curtis Samuel for the bulk of the receiving workload, and that’s not ideal.

Newton did have his best season in 2015 when Benjamin was sidelined with a torn ACL. But Newton had Greg Olsen on the field. Right now, Olsen is on injured reserve with a broken foot. The team does expect him to return this season, but any kind of setback for the 32-year-old tight end could easily derail those plans.

Benjamin is the team’s leading receiver with 475 yards and two touchdowns on 32 catches with the Panthers this season.

What does this mean for the Bills? The Bills are 5-2, and Benjamin should help Tyrod Taylor keep that momentum going.

Tight end Charles Clay and running back LeSean McCoy both have more targets and receiving yards than any of the receivers currently on Buffalo’s roster. The Bills traded Sammy Watkins to the Rams before the season and brought in Jordan Matthews from the Eagles, but Matthews hasn’t looked like a No. 1 receiver. Matthews has just 193 yards and a touchdown this year.

Benjamin gives Taylor a big, physical target — and one who can help the Bills keep winning.