The Raiders are reportedly asking left tackle Donald Penn to accept a pay cut in advance of the 2018 season, and it’s possible Oakland could trade the veteran offensive lineman if he declines the request, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).
That the Raiders would be open to dealing Penn shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as the club is likely attempting to generate trade interest in lieu of a release. If Penn refuses to lower his 2018 base salary, Oakland will consider cutting him, but a trade would be preferential on two fronts.
First, the Raiders would pick up some sort of compensation in exchange for Penn, something they wouldn’t do in the event of a release. And an acquiring club would take on Penn’s 2018 base salary (which includes $3MM in full guarantees), freeing up more cap space for Oakland.
Penn, 35, is scheduled to earn a $6MM salary in 2018, and is also eligible to collect up to $1.75MM in per-game roster bonuses. Those figures are the result of Penn’s 2017 training camp holdout, which ended when he agreed to a two-year, $21MM extension that runs through the 2019 campaign.
Last year, Penn started 14 games for the Raiders, grading as the NFL’s No. 12 offensive tackle per Pro Football Focus before being placed on injured reserve with a foot issue. 2017, notably, marked the first season of Penn’s career in which he failed to appear in all 16 games. If Penn is traded or released, Oakland would deploy rookie first-round pick Kolton Miller on Derek Carr‘s blindside.
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