COMMENTARY | The Philadelphia Eagles have spent the week signing low-cost, low-risk players who come with potentially high rewards.
So it's no surprise the trade they made on Friday followed that same theme.
A couple of reasons, the first being that he fit that low-risk, low-cost model the team has been following as it looks to rebuild and fill a whole bunch of holes this offseason.
A bigger, better reason, though, is Benn's size and blocking.
New coach Chip Kelly loves wide receivers who block downfield; watch film of the Oregon Ducks from the past few seasons and you'll see wideouts laying out defenders 10, 20, 30-plus yards down from the line of scrimmage. It was hardly uncommon in Eugene, Ore., to see a big wide receiver out front leading the way for LaMichael James or Kenjon Barner on a touchdown run. And if one or two of them got lazy and refused to block, you'd see 'em on the sideline very quickly.
Benn is 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and known as a solid blocker, in addition to providing a big target and having good hands. He also returned kickoffs for the Bucs last season.
Here's the catch:
Benn has struggled through injuries each of his first three seasons in the league. A second-round pick (No. 39 overall) out of Illinois in 2010, Benn has seen each of his pro seasons cut short by injury.
He played 15 games his first year, catching 25 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns, before a torn left ACL ended his season early. The following year, a neck injury kept him out of two of the Bucs' final three games, including the finale.
And last season, Benn sprained the MCL in his right knee on the first day of training camp, an injury he aggravated later in the season, leading Tampa Bay to place him on injured reserve after he'd played in just eight games.
In three abbreviated seasons, Benn has 59 receptions, 862 yards and five TDs.
A rebuilding team like the Eagles needs guys who have something to prove, and Benn is certainly one of those. He still has a ton of upside, as well as the physical tools to do well in Kelly's spread attack.
So while he definitely comes with some injury baggage, if Benn can stay healthy, the Eagles have made a great acquisition here.
Adam Sparks has followed the Philadelphia Eagles since the 1980s, and has written about the team as a freelancer since 2010.
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