Kelvin Benjamin blasts Joe Judge after Giants cut him during first practice of training camp

·4-min read

Kelvin Benjamin's second act as a tight end with the New York Giants ended up lasting one day of training camp. He's not happy about it.

The former first-round pick was cut before the end of the first practice of Giants training camp on Wednesday following an animated discussion with head coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman, which ended with Benjamin ripping off his helmet and leaving the field, according to's Zach Rosenblatt.

The Giants and Judge declined comment to after the confrontation, but Benjamin didn't. Instead, he reportedly laid into the second-year head coach on his way out, alleging that Judge was to blame for his exit and declaring the Giants will never win a Super Bowl with him.

Benjamin had signed with the Giants in May after having not played an NFL snap since 2018. 

Kelvin Benjamin vs. Joe Judge

In Benjamin's side of the story, the wide receiver turned tight end claimed the team asked him to report to training camp at 251 pounds after weighing 265 at the end of minicamp in June. The fireworks began when Benjamin said he showed up to camp at 268 (which he claims was added muscle).

Benjamin said he passed the Giants' conditioning test Tuesday, which involved 20 50-yard dashes in under 7 seconds. He says he heard nothing about his weight until Wednesday, when Judge pulled him aside at the start of practice.

Benjamin's account:

Judge “was like: ‘We’re gonna fine you for being 17 pounds overweight.’ I was like: ‘How are you going to do that?’” Benjamin said. “I said: ‘So you want me to be a smaller tight end than when I played wide receiver.’ He had nothing to say. He quieted down.”

Benjamin said that Judge never told him Tuesday that he wouldn’t be able to practice Wednesday, so he assumed he was good to go.

“He didn’t even talk to me [Tuesday],” Benjamin said. “The day before practice, he didn’t bring all of this up. I just felt like the dude didn’t like me. Mr. Gettleman knew exactly what went down. Everybody in the building was telling me I looked great. I was feeling good. It’s crazy how they twisting the narrative about everything like it’s a joke. They make it seem like we don’t even matter. That’s the thing about humanity, man.”

Benjamin reportedly went on to say Judge claimed he purposefully didn't practice at times during minicamp and that he was on his second strike. Benjamin's response was to note that he posted his lone 1,000-yard season at 268 pounds when he was a rookie wide receiver in 2016, which alone is quite a statement.

The experience has apparently left Benjamin saying he will move back to Florida rather than pursue any more NFL opportunities. He told that he believes his lone champion was Gettleman, who drafted Benjamin during his time with the Carolina Panthers.

“To be honest, man, I just felt like it was all a hoax,” Benjamin said of his brief time with the Giants. “I felt like they didn’t give me a chance. I finished the conditioning. I finished all of that. I did what I was supposed to do. Everybody in the building was telling me I looked great. They never wanted the narrative to be good about me.”

“Dave was the one that got me here — and Dave knew exactly what went down. I’m a team guy. I’ve been on a winning team before. I get the politics in the league and stuff. But the thing with me is: Don’t sit there and try to bash my game and let the story run wild. Just tell the truth. Be honest.”

Benjamin then left this parting shot for Judge:

“I have a perspective on Joe Judge,” Benjamin said. “He’s not a coach that can ever win a Super Bowl because he sits there and cusses all day. You can tell he’s one-sided about everything. He’s a know-it-all. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. We all can learn from each other. We’re all humans at the end of the day. The true colors will come out.”

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