Panthers GM on Kelvin Benjamin weight issues: Media goes ‘DEFCON 5 on everything’

By Jesse Reed

Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman is frustrated with the media for blowing everything out of proportion these days. He’s specifically upset with the way the media covered Kelvin Benjamin showing up to offseason workouts overweight.

“This is what frustrates me with the media today,” Gettleman said, per the team website. “They go to DEFCON 5 on everything. . . . Kelvin Benjamin being overweight was not a big deal. It was April 17. Can we all get a grip?”

The biggest problem with Gettleman getting worked up about this is that back in April, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera expressed concern that Benjamin showed up to OTAs overweight. Of course, the media (this site, included) covered that story. Benjamin, a big guy even when he’s in shape, has struggled with weight issues dating all the way back to his high school days.

Not surprisingly, the story ballooned a bit more when video came out showing Benjamin moving sluggishly during a pass-catching drill.

Then it exploded when a picture emerged showing Benjamin wearing a smallish jersey that accentuated his tummy all the more (look here).

Now, it’s worth pointing out that Benjamin had reportedly worked himself back into shape by the end of minicamp.

But that’s not really the story here. The story here is that the media is being accused of going haywire because it reported on what Rivera said and what was seen on the field. Sure, Benjamin is never going to be skinny. But it’s going to be news whenever any big-time skill position player shows up to workouts in poor conditioning.

If Gettleman wants to be upset, perhaps he should aim his criticism at Rivera, who is the person who got the ball rolling in the first place by calling Benjamin out in the media. There wouldn’t have been a story to write about if Rivera hadn’t done so.