Donald Penn is still not ending his holdout despite the Oakland Raiders concluding Napa’s training camp Thursday. The Raiders have already spent three weeks in Napa without their starting left tackle.
At age 34, Penn is scheduled to make $3.4 million in the last year of a two year deal that he signed in 2016. This contract places him as the ninth highest paid left tackle based on salary, per USA Today. After bonuses, Penn would be the 19th highest paid tackle.
Penn finished as the 12th highest graded tackle, per Pro Football Focus. The Raiders left tackle only allowed one sack last season. It was the sack that ended up injuring quarterback Derek Carr, but Penn has still been one of the most consistent Raiders over the past three seasons.
Still, who can blame Penn for demanding more money? With all the controversy surrounding the NFL and head injuries, players deserve a ton of money. Especially offensive linemen who deliver punishment on every single play.
Plus, Penn is responsible for protecting the blindside of Carr, who is the Raiders highest paid player. At the start of camp, Carr said he would not put his hands in another man’s pocket by commenting on Penn’s holdout. Clearly, the franchise quarterback understands where his two-time Pro Bowl left tackle is coming from.
Otherwise, Raiders offensive line coach Mike Tice recently said the team is preparing to enter the season without Penn. He said he can not sit and wonder when D.P. is going to come back. Tice also said Penn’s absence allows the team to develop depth on the offensive line, per ESPN.
Projected right tackle Marshall Newhouse is spending his time at left tackle. Second-year tackle Vadal Alexander is the starting right tackle. Rookie David Sharpe is playing on both sides. Alexander is a seventh round pick that made five starts last season. Newhouse is a journey man with 56 career starts over his six-year career.
However, All-Pro offensive guard Osemele Osemele said he would be confident starting the season without Penn. He said the offensive line relies on double teams and being in sync. Therefore, it will be difficult with Penn to show up Week 1 without going through camp.
Don’t forget Penn also struggled with his weight in Tampa, so skipping camp might not be best for his conditioning.
Either way, Penn is holding out for top-10 tackle money. He signed his deal at a bargain last season, in hopes that the Raiders would renegotiate his deal in good faith. Oakland has $13.27 million left in cap space. Why can’t the Raiders break Penn off with a few more dollars to keep the big man healthy? He’s never been paid like he should over his career.
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