Papa: Raiders Went “Sideways” After Donald Penn’s Holdout In 2017

Former Raiders voice Greg Papa has a theory about where the Raiders went off course after an incredible 2016 season. It wasn’t the politically charged Washington game that was the problem, but Papa says that was the game where the problem was brought to the surface.

“If you want to ask me where this began to go sideways, I’m not going to pin it on him directly… but I think Donald Penn’s holdout really set this team back,” Papa said Tuesday on his 95.7 The Game radio show. “I’m not begrudging him, but he had a contract, they just redid your contract, and he did not play well when he came back. He sat out, he tried that tactic, he came to camp, they redid it. He didn’t play well and that entire offensive line got blocking sledded in Washington… they lost their edge a little bit and they couldn’t get out of it.”

What’s interesting is that Penn actually made out great with his holdout. He was guaranteed additional money in 2018 and that $3 million is a can the Raiders are still kicking down the road. Penn would have undoubtedly been cut last summer with no financial consequences were it not for the guaranteed money in his contract this year. Now that $3 million has been pushed to 2019 and the Raiders will pay for yet another washed up season from Penn.

Certainly Penn had leverage in 2017 and he used it, but if you believe Papa, Penn’s holdout contributed to one of the league’s best offensive lines transforming into a relatively average group in the 15 months since.

For what it’s worth, Penn turns 36 in April and there’s a good chance his football career has finally reached the end of it’s road.

twitter: @raidersbeat

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3 thoughts on “Papa: Raiders Went “Sideways” After Donald Penn’s Holdout In 2017

  1. These r professional n knowledgeable football people commenting n bestowing upon us their opinions. Look these r the facts from a person with common sense.
    Fact 1: In 2016 the Raiders posted a good record but had major problems that were concealed due to Raiders having very good turnover margin n other situational factors. These major deficiencies were exposed in 2017 without benefit of factors going their way prior year.
    Fact 2: Raiders had core of players that could have (if properly executed) removed certain players n assembled appropriate pieces that would have led them to great seasons for many years to come.
    Fact 3: I say what is to follow based on the acts taken by Gruden thus far. Had Gruden retained Mack n even with the moves made by Gruden initially, Raiders would have good record n sit nicely for playoff push. Gruden has publicly lied to fans n media (by his own words) n he never intended to keep Mack n many other players.
    Fact 3: If u watch the progression of play calling throughout games Gruden did not want Raiders winning games. Everything he has n is doing has no relation to an organization that wants to win but wants to lose n lose for years to come. I will explain this further momentarily.
    Fact 4: Some moves Gruden made were needed n would not have been if McKenzie was still holding reins or Del Rio n possibly different Coach at helm.
    Supposition: I believe (based upon the unexplainable moves n behavior of Gruden) that when Al Davis fired Gruden after Tuck Rule game in New England Gruden was so angry n that animosity built up never leaving n when presented with opportunity he received when Mark Davis made ridiculous offer that opened the door for Gruden to feed that anger he possessed to organization that fired him.
    Some people are saying that Grudens ego is driving him to remove McKenzie players n build team himself based upon perceptions that he only won super bowl due to team that someone else built in Tampa Bay.
    Now if u are to believe the ego aspect then time frame is incorrect as he then would have built up more anger as a result of Raiders team he built going to super bowl n Gruden not given chance to coach the team he built n forced to coach team someone else built thus supporting the fact that this is his change at revenge.
    Think about everything from the beginning he publicly stated how Mack was 1 of reasons he came to team as well as Carr. Gruden pays for huge party at Rickys Sports Bar in San Leandro for the fans whom he has shown he could care less about claiming he wants Oakland Fans to have championship before they depart for Vegas but now guaranteed that will never occur. He was lying entire time n has done things never before seen in this league. The Mack move alone left Gruden in no-win situation as if Raiders lose that will be reason n should the Raiders went on to win it would be said “can u imagine their record if Mack was still there.” Then look at way Gruden has dismantle the Raiders n play calling etc… Gruden can never be considered a football guru or innovative mind even if he were to somehow build a Raider team that can win some games which will not be immediate future now. If ego drives a person Grudens moves would not include that by which we have witnessed as the Raiders Team was not that far off from being a good if not great team .
    If u can wrap your head around things I have then think about it Gruden who says he is a Raider at heart always has been but needed 100 million dollar contract with most guaranteed (a person not coaching in decade n not being coach with impressive resume now highest paid) making moves guaranteeing he will never be spoken in same conversations as great or even good coaches but guaranteed to walk away with substantial amount of money more than any of the great coaches he wont be mentioned with. I have to believe – no other choice but to believe that Gruden didnt intend to win n has sought n received pay-back. The Raiders will find it very difficult to sign free agents in future due to Grudens moves so how could the actions n way they were executed lead to success?

  2. I love Greg Papa and I wish he was still the play by play man for Raiders radio broadcasts but he is completely wrong here. The Raiders went “sideways” not because of Donald Penn’s holdout, it was when the team told Bill Musgrave he was no longer the OC and we hired that ginger headed fool Todd Downing to replace him, someone who had absolutely no experience coordinating a high school offense much less a pro offense.

    The other thing was the decision to keep Ken Norton Junior on as DC. He should’ve been gone before the season started.

    Sorry Greg, you are so very wrong in your assumption.

  3. Everybody has an opinion. Some have “sour grapes” opinions, and will take whatever opportunity to throw crap out. Most NFL coaches salaries are unknown, so there are no comments made about them. Gruden’s salariy is widely known (the total,not the actual numbers and how they are crunched). But because there is a total figure to habg ur hat on, everyone with an axe to grind will jump on the negative train, because they don’t like that number for whatever reason. If you stop factoring salaries and carefully watch what is going on, whether you like it or not, it is what happens in the NFL all the time. It is so ridiculous, that when a team releases or trades a player, all of the “leaked secrets” start to appear in the media. So far the Raiders aren’t guilty of this, (Dallas certainly is). But I guess everyone has favorite players and when they move on, they get upset. Greg Papa has been at war with the Raiders since the moe to Vegas became official. Hmmmmm, fancy that….

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