Panthers players admit Kelvin Benjamin trade caught them off guard

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The Carolina Panthers surprised many by abruptly trading wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin on Tuesday — including some of their own players.After Benjamin was dealt to the Buffalo Bills, Panthers players expressed shock — and some sadness — that the move had been made.“I would be lying if I didn’t say it surprised me,” wide receiver Russell Shepard said, via David Newton of ESPN. “It surprised everybody in the building. It surprised some of the people on the coaching staff.“It just shows you as much of a game as this is, it’s a business. Some decisions, man, they come from left field.”Quarterback Cam Newton admitted he had an “emotional connection” with Benjamin, but had to get it out of his mind and focus on the task at hand for Sunday.“When I get outside of my emotional state of mind, I think everything else will be back to normal,” Newton said. “End of the day, I still have to find ways to win football games. That’s what I’m here for.”The Panthers have coped without Benjamin before — their 15-1 season in 2015
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