Travis Benjamin

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/9/21

Here is Week 5 Saturday’s minor move spree:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • Promoted: TE Shane Zylstra

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

49ers Place WR Jalen Hurd On IR

SATURDAY: For a third straight year, Hurd will begin the season on the 49ers’ IR list. San Francisco is stashing the oft-injured wideout on IR, sidelining him for at least three games. While a return in Week 4 would be a bonus for Hurd, who has missed the first two seasons of his career, any IR placement qualifies as a bad sign for the Tennessee and Baylor alum at this point. The 49ers promoted cornerback Dontae Johnson to fill Hurd’s roster spot.

WEDNESDAY: It sounds like Jalen Hurd will miss the 49ers’ season opener. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that the third-year wide receiver is a candidate for the injured reserve thanks to a lingering knee injury.

“We felt pretty good (coming) out of the Raiders game just with how he was able to play and get through it,” Shanahan said (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). “But it was hurting him three days later when we tried to practice again. And we gave him the weekend off and it hurt again Monday. And just coming in here today and just realizing that we have to reevaluate this and shut him down for a little bit.”

The 2019 third-round pick still hasn’t seen the field for a regular season game thanks to injuries. That included an ACL tear that ruined his 2020 campaign, and knee tendinitis limited him during the early parts of the 2021 preseason. He finally got into the 49ers preseason finale, playing 29 snaps.

If Hurd is destined for injured reserve, the 49ers would likely look to add another wideout to the active roster. Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets that practice squad veteran Travis Benjamin is “the top candidate” to take Hurd’s spot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC West

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These CardinalsRamsSeahawks and 49ers moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Arizona Cardinals

Signed to practice squad:

Los Angeles Rams

Signed to practice squad:

San Francisco 49ers

Signed:

Placed on IR: 

Signed to practice squad:

Seattle Seahawks

Claimed:

Signed:

Released/Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

49ers Get Roster Down To 53

The 49ers made a long list of transactions today to get down to 53 players. Several of these moves have previously been reported, but for posterity’s sake, we’ve listed them all below.

Placed on reserve/PUP list

Placed on IR

Released

Waived

Placed on Reserved/Suspended List

49ers To Release Travis Benjamin

Another familiar veteran has found himself on the chopping block. The 49ers are cutting receiver Travis Benjamin, a source told veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (Twitter link).

Benjamin sustained a concussion during the team’s preseason finale, Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News tweets, so maybe that had something to do with the decision. After Richie James Jr went down with a knee injury, the initial thought from many was that Benjamin would be in line to take over as punt returner, potentially saving him from being a cutdown casualty.

Apparently not so, as Kyle Shanahan has other plans for the team’s return game. A fourth-round pick out of Miami in 2012, Benjamin began his career with the Browns. He had a breakout 2015 campaign when he racked up 966 yards and five touchdowns. After his rookie deal ran out, he earned a four-year $24MM deal from the Chargers.

He put up some decent numbers in his first two years with the Chargers, but fell off after that. Benjamin signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last offseason, but opted out of the 2020 campaign. He does have a solid history with punt returns, with four career return touchdowns on 109 tries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker

Per an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players with COVID-19 health concerns can opt out of the 2020 season. Initially, the deadline was believed to be Tuesday, August 4. Talks between the league and the union have pushed it to August 6.

Chiefs guard and medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to officially opt out. Scores of players followed.

Here’s the rundown, so far:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • T Brad Seaton

Tennessee Titans

  • OL Anthony McKinney

Washington Football Team

Free agents

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers’ Travis Benjamin Opts Out

49ers wide receiver Travis Benjamin will opt out of the 2020 season. Benjamin joined the Niners on a one-year deal earlier this year, but he’ll have to wait until 2021 to make his SF debut.

[RELATED: 2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker]

First, I would like to thank the 49ers organization for their continued support,” Benjamin wrote in a statement. “After much consideration and discussion with my family I have decided to opt out of the 2020 NFL season as I feel this is the best decision for my family. I will continue to support my teammates and many friends around the league this season. As we continue to navigate this pandemic I wish that everyone stays safe.”

The defending NFC champs lost Emmanuel Sanders in free agency and picked up Benjamin to help soften the blow. Previously, Benjamin split his eight-year NFL career with the Browns and the Chargers. He missed most of the 2019 season and missed four games in 2018 – by the time he returns next year, he’ll have missed 31 games across three seasons.

The 49ers’ wide receiver group is led by Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, rookie Brandon Aiyuk, and slot receiver Trent Taylor. However, they’ll likely be without Samuel for a bit while he recovers from a foot fracture.

As of this writing, more than 55 players have opted out of the 2020 season, as shown in our tracker. Players have until 4pm ET/3pm CT today to make the call.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers, WR Travis Benjamin Agree To Deal

On a suddenly busy afternoon for auxiliary wide receiver deals, Travis Benjamin landed another job. The 49ers are signing the former Browns and Chargers receiver to a one-year deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The defending NFC champions lost out on retaining Emmanuel Sanders, when he signed with the Saints. While Benjamin is not on Sanders’ level, he stands to potentially help as a depth piece. The 49ers were in the mix for Phillip Dorsett, but he opted for the Seahawks — literally seconds before the Benjamin agreement surfaced.

Benjamin, 30, entered free agency for a second time. The Chargers signed the deep threat/return man in 2016 but did not opt to bring him back on another deal. Benjamin missed most of the 2019 season and missed four games in 2018. Mike Williams‘ arrival minimized Benjamin’s role. Over the past two seasons combined, Benjamin did not total 300 receiving yards.

However, the former Browns fourth-round pick out of Miami posted north of 550 receiving yards in three straight seasons — from 2015-17 — and has four career punt-return touchdowns. Benjamin will attempt to make a 49ers team that features Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, slot receiver Trent Taylor and inconsistent 2018 second-rounder Dante Pettis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers, Travis Benjamin To Part Ways

The Chargers and wide receiver Travis Benjamin are “mutually parting ways,” a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Benjamin will hit the open market in a couple of weeks and he apparently won’t be discussing a new deal with the Bolts. 

Benjamin joined the Chargers as a free agent in 2016 after talks with the incumbent Browns broke down. He landed a four-year, $24MM deal with $13MM guaranteed, a solid payout for a player who came out of nowhere to post 68 receptions, 966 yards, and five touchdowns in his platform year.

Since then, Benjamin’s production has been in decline. In Year One with the Chargers, he posted a 47/677/4 line. After the move to L.A., things cooled – 34/567/4 in 2017, 12/186/1 in 2018, and, thanks to injuries, he had just six grabs in five games last year.

Benjamin won’t be the only Chargers veteran leaving L.A. Quarterback Philip Rivers – an even more notable San Diego import – will be signing elsewhere in March.

At wide receiver, the Chargers will have some work to do – they don’t have a lot of proven talent on hand, outside of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Place Travis Benjamin On IR

Yet another key Charger will head to IR. The team placed Travis Benjamin on its injured list Thursday, due to a quadriceps injury. The Bolts signed defensive lineman T.Y. McGill to take Benjamin’s roster spot.

The Chargers and Benjamin agreed to an extension this year. The veteran wide receiver is now signed through the 2020 season. Despite the other injuries the Bolts have suffered at wideout, the 29-year-old Benjamin has only caught six passes for 30 yards in five games.

Benjamin joins Derwin James, Mike Pouncey, Adrian Phillips and Dontrelle Inman on Los Angeles’ IR list. Among the Bolts’ receiving corps, Inman, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have battled injuries since training camp. The Bolts have also been without Russell Okung and Melvin Gordon for extensive stretches, though the former has returned to practice. All of these absences have obviously weakened the Chargers, whose four losses match their 2018 season-long total.

This is Benjamin’s fourth season as a Charger. His yardage total has decreased each year. That stands to continue, with the veteran now being unable to return until at least mid-December because of this transaction. A former UDFA, McGill played in four games for the 2018 Chargers. He has not played in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.