The lack of playmakers in the passing game showed, with the Chargers struggling to score. They finished the season by losing 10 of their last 12 games.
With pending free agent Travis Benjamin expected to sign with the Chargers once the free agency period begins Wednesday afternoon, the former University of Miami standout should take some of the pressure off of Rivers.
“Travis felt like this was the right situation for him, not only from a financial standpoint, but an actual playing standpoint,” Benjamin’s agent Ron Butler said in an interview with The Mighty 1090 AM Radio. “He’s looking forward to coming in and being an additional impact player next to Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson and the rest of those guys over there.”
Benjamin caught passes from eight quarterbacks during his four seasons with the Cleveland Browns, so he gets an opportunity at stability, playing with one of the best in the league in Rivers.
Rivers completed passes to 15 receivers in 2015, so offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will find a way to get Benjamin involved.
“Any time you have a guy that could be a potential Hall of Fame quarterback, from a receiving standpoint it makes you much more comfortable as far as your next landing spot,” Butler said. “With nothing negative to say in terms of Cleveland, but Travis was able to have a really productive season last year with a carousel of different guys. And he’s excited with this new opportunity with Philip.”
Butler said Benjamin is looking at a four-year deal to sign with the Chargers.
With Floyd retiring, Benjamin becomes San Diego's No. 1 option as a deep threat. Benjamin has a career average of 14.2 yards per reception. But Benjamin is not a one-trick pony.
The Chargers run a lot of crossing routes and bubble screens to get receivers in space, which fits with Benjamin’s strengths. San Diego led the league in yards after catch last year and Benjamin will add to that total.
Lastly, Benjamin should improve San Diego’s anemic return game. The Chargers finished with a league-low 84 punt return yards in 2015. Benjamin finished with 324 punt-return yards last season, including a 78-yarder for a score.