Not much has transpired on the Donald Penn front since the Raiders released him. Trent Williams‘ holdout looks to have changed that. The Redskins will host the former Raiders and Buccaneers tackle on a visit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Penn will work out for the team, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets.
The Raiders cut Penn more than four months ago, and other than some interest from the Texans, the 36-year-old blocker has experienced a quiet free agency stay. Washington, though, may be ready to move on bringing in a Williams replacement/stopgap. It could also be an attempt to bring the holdout back into the fold.
Washington expressed interest in Penn during his 2014 free agency, Mike Jones of USA Today tweets. Redskins president Bruce Allen was with the Bucs when they drafted Penn.
Penn profiles as a far more proven player than Ereck Flowers, who slid over to left tackle during Washington’s minicamp. Flowers has struggled at tackle throughout his career, and although the Redskins were planning to try him at guard, it looks like they will keep him on the edge for the time being, Jay Gruden said (via Les Carpenter of the Washington Post, on Twitter).
The Raiders deployed Penn as their left tackle starter for four seasons, then moved him to the right side for what turned out to be a short stay. An early-season injury shelved Penn for most of the 2018 season. Prior to that, he had started 174 of a possible 176 regular-season games since entering the league in 2007.
While the Williams situation is unique, based on the 10th-year tackle being at odds with the Redskins because of their handling of an injury, Penn has been through multiple holdouts in recent years. It’s interesting another standout’s absence could create an opportunity for Penn.
It makes sense for the Redskins to protect themselves at left tackle, but Penn coming in would point to the team considering a Williams trade. The Redskins can begin fining their nine-year left-edge blocker, who also wants a new contract, for camp absences. Williams’ contract demand also comes after he has missed extensive time in recent seasons. Regardless, Washington’s left tackle spot remains in flux. Penn’s involvement complicates this situation further.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.