Raiders left tackle Donald Penn will see his two-year deal with the team expire next month, making him a free agent if he doesn’t have a new extension in place by then. Rather than reaching the open market, Penn would prefer to get something done with Oakland, but he has yet to hear from the team regarding contract negotiations, according to Scott Bair of CSNCalifornia.com.
“I’m not going to lie. I’m a little disappointed in the Oakland Raiders right now,” Penn said. “That’s just me being honest. I don’t talk to my agent about deals during the season because I like to focus on my play. But, going into the offseason we talked and my agent said he talked to the team and they said they want me back. That’s what they told me before I left, but I haven’t heard from them since the season ended.”
The Raiders and Penn still have a few more weeks to open negotiations and try to finalize a new contract for the veteran tackle, and general manager Reggie McKenzie said this week that there’s still plenty of time for that to happen. Nonetheless, Penn is getting anxious, and is starting to consider the possibility that he may have other suitors in March.
“I’m really disappointed, and I’m starting to look at other opportunities,” Penn said. “As man and a player, we have to start looking at other things. Me and my agent are starting to put together a group of teams that need a left tackle and things like that.”
Despite the fact that he has been one of the most reliable left tackles in the NFL over the last two seasons, Penn hasn’t been paid like it, since his two-year pact with the Raiders earned him just over $10MM in total. The Utah State product isn’t getting any younger – he’ll turn 33 in April – but he should still be in line for a nice raise, whether he re-signs with the Raiders or joins a new team. So while he’d like to be back in Oakland, Penn isn’t losing sight of that fact.
“We’ll see what happens next,” Penn said. “I did everything I could. I had two great seasons, two of the best of my career. You know, it’s a great time to be a free agent for me.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.