In exchange, Carolina got Buffalo's third and seventh round picks in next year's draft.
Make no mistake, though: This trade will not please Cam Newton, who has counted Benjamin as a close friend since he was drafted in 2014.
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Former Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is changing National Football League addresses. His rookie season was his most productive as he posted just over 1,000 yards receiving on 73 receptions with nine touchdowns. The two worked in the Panthers organization before joining the Bills and assuming the task of fixing a franchise that appeared to be in disarray.
He had caught a further 32 passes for 475 yards and two touchdowns in eight games this season with the Panthers before the trade, which came moments before the 3pm deadline on the east coast of the United States. The team is already without Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, who has been on injured reserve since September 19th after breaking a bone in his right foot in during Carolina's Week 2 victory over the Bills.
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Benjamin's base salary for this year is $1 million.
McDermott was the Panthers' defensive coordinator prior to this year, his first in Buffalo, so has a good idea of what he's getting in the big-bodied receiver.
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This trade is hard to process because there are still great unknowns-the greatest of which is the health of Kelvin Benjamin's left knee. Interestingly, Buffalo traded up to No. 4 to draft former Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins in the same draft, but the Bills dealt him to the Los Angels Rams before the season.