May 8 (UPI) -- This is a big year for Kelvin Benjamin, who is playing on the final season of his rookie contract with the Carolina Panthers. The third-year wide receiver is already putting in work to make sure he has a healthy 2017.
But it's not only injuries he's concerned about. According to coach Ron Rivera, Benjamin is working on his general fitness.
Rivera said Benjamin reported to offseason training a little overweight. Benjamin worked out four a days a week, the maximum allowed by the league, and used his spare time to chisel his body in the team's training room.
"He is a little heavy," Rivera told Panthers.com. "He knows it. We've talked about it. We've talked about what he has to do," Rivera said. "He's done a great job, he really has in the two weeks he's been here."
The Panthers picked up Benjamin's fifth-year option on Tuesday.
"He's worked very hard when he's been around. He's done a great job," Rivera told Panthers.com Saturday. "He comes in and gets the extra treatment, gets in the whirlpool, gets in the steam, sauna, stuff like that. He's been great. He knows it, and he's been what you would hope he would be."
According to Benjamin's NFL.com draft profile from 2014, the Florida State product weighed 240 pounds when he entered the league. He is listed at 245 pounds on the team's website. His playing weight is at least 250 pounds, according to the Charlotte Observer. Rivera has disputed reports that said Benjamin weighs 280 pounds.
Benjamin, 26, was the No. 28 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He had a spectacular rookie campaign with 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns on 73 receptions. He had 941 yards and seven scores on 63 catches in 16 games last year. Benjamin missed his entire second season in 2015 after tearing his ACL in training camp.
Former Stanford star Christian McCaffrey is also expected to play some snaps at wide receiver this season, as well as former Ohio State star Curtis Samuel. In addition to the Panthers' first two draft picks, the franchise also has Devin Funchess, Brenton Bersin, Russell Shepard, Charles Johnson, Damiere Byrd, Mose Frazier, Keyarris Garrett and Fred Ross on its depth chart.
For fantasy football purposes, Benjamin started out last season strong. He had 21 catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns through two weeks. Benjamin then posted just one score in the next eight weeks. He also scored twice in his last two games of the 2016 season. Benjamin should not be a priority for your fantasy football team unless you can snag him extremely late in your draft. Look elsewhere even for a low-end WR2.