Travis Benjamin injects speed — and more — into Chargers’ offense – Orange County Register
Wide receiver Travis Benjamin makes a catch during the Chargers’ training camp at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, CA on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin (12) avoids a tackle by Cleveland Browns cornerback Jamar Taylor (21) in the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk)
Wide receiver Travis Benjamin looks to make a catch during Chargers’ training camp at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, CA on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin runs during an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin (12) and Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Kaleb Eulls (96) arrive for the first day of the Los Angeles Chargers training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex Sunday in Costa Mesa, CA. July 30, 2017. TERRY PIERSON,THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG
Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin hauls in a pass on his way to scoring a touchdown during the first half of a game against the Oakland Raiders last season. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
COSTA MESA — Travis Benjamin is fast. But he wants you to know that he isn’t just fast.
The 27-year-old also thinks he’s the Chargers’ best route-runner. To hear him tell it, he absorbs new moves in an instant. During one practice, he might see a teammate make an impressive cut; on the next play, he’ll be trying the same thing.
“I’m like Mystique, man,” Benjamin said, referring to the shape-shifting Marvel mutant. “I steal them all.”
The Chargers are hoping that type of synthesis pays off. A year ago, they signed the former University of Miami standout to a four-year, $24 million deal — rewarding him after his 966-yard breakout with the Browns in 2015. As one of the top pass-catchers on the market, Benjamin looked like an ideal field-stretching complement for No. 1 receiver Keenan Allen.