Three Weeks Ago Donald Penn Said He Wasn’t Playing For Money “Or Anything Like That”
With first-round pick Gareon Conley finally cleared of sexual assault allegations, the drama at Raiders training camp officially shifts to veteran holdout Donald Penn.
Hoping the Raiders will restructure his deal, Penn did not report to camp on Friday and remains in limbo until the sides can reach a resolution.
What that resolution will look like is anyone’s guess, but this much we know: the Raiders aren’t happy.
Reports have suggested the team was blindsided by Penn’s holdout, but an NFL Media report indicated that the Raiders were aware of Penn’s desire for a new deal and were approached around the time of the combine and again three weeks ago.
Ironically, it was three weeks ago that Penn told NFL Total Access that he was playing two win a Super Bowl and “not playing for money or anything like that.”
Without question, Penn has outplayed his salary in each of his three seasons in Oakland. Despite playing a premium position, Penn has been one of the best bargains on the Raiders’ roster.
Penn’s career is winding down and he’ll make around $7 million this year. He wants to be paid like a top ten left tackle.
But will the Raiders see it that way?
As a player, Penn has leverage over the team, but at 34 years-old can he really afford to throw away a year’s salary on principle? Obviously the Raiders know he can’t, but do they want to risk injuring a $125 million quarterback in a preseason stalemate with their Pro Bowl left tackle?
The Raiders have plenty of salary cap space to give Penn a bump in pay, but it would set a precedent general manager Reggie McKenzie would like to avoid.
A tough call for sure and time is ticking on a resolution.
A recent twitter poll suggests most believe it will be Penn who ultimately caves and shows up without a new contract.
POLL: Who do you believe will cave first?
— Raiders Beat (@RaidersBeat) August 1, 2017
The Raiders first preseason game is only 12 days away.
Tick… tick… tick…