Veteran offensive tackle Donald Penn will continue to don silver and black, as the 32-year-old lineman opted to remain with the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday after testing the free-agent market.
Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Penn's two-year deal is worth $14 million. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport supported Tafur's report and noted the first year is guaranteed for "roughly $7 million." Although the Raiders have yet to publish news of the agreement, Penn announced his return on Instagram:
Former NFL quarterback, and Derek Carr's brother, David Carr expressed his excitement about Penn's return on Twitter:
Rapoport reported on Wednesday morning that Penn was scheduled to visit with the New York Giants but would instead re-sign with the Raiders.
Penn spent the past two seasons as Oakland's left tackle after a seven-year stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that saw him get elected to his first and only Pro Bowl in 2010.
The former Utah State standout has far exceeded expectations as an undrafted player, and his new deal is proof that the Raiders and teams across the NFL have taken notice of how far he has come in his nearly decade-long career.
Penn's play at tackle has been extremely steady, but the most impressive aspect of his game is his remarkable durability.
He has never missed an NFL game, and since taking over as a starter for the Bucs in 2007, he has started every contest he has appeared in for a grand total of 140 career NFL starts.
After spending two campaigns as quarterback Derek Carr's blindside protector in Oakland, Penn made it clear that he wanted to return to the Raiders in 2016 and beyond when asked about his future in December, according to ESPN.com's Bill Williamson: "I want to retire a Raider, I think I've made that pretty clear."
Despite his preference to re-sign, the Raiders seemingly didn't show that same eagerness during the early portion of the offseason.
Per CSNCalifornia.com (h/t Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com), Penn was upset when he hadn't heard from the Raiders in early February despite their stated desire to bring him back:
I'm not going to lie. I'm a little disappointed in the Oakland Raiders right now. 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 and want me back. That's what they told me before I left, but I haven't heard from them since the season ended.
Penn was also upset when the team signed former Baltimore Ravens tackle Kelechi Osemele, as he stated on SiriusXM NFL Radio (warning: NSFW for strong language): "I'm not going to lie, I was pissed when they signed Osemele, and I called Jack Del Rio. He assured me that Osemele would play OG."
With the Raiders failing to make Penn feel wanted, a departure seemed possible, but the Los Angeles native was ultimately able to come to terms with Oakland.
While Penn isn't necessarily regarded as one of the premier tackles in the game, he is as reliable as they come, and it didn't take a premium price for the Raiders to keep him like it may have cost to sign someone younger and more highly touted.
Penn's performance over the past couple of seasons suggests he has plenty left in the tank, though, and the fact that he can be counted upon to be on the field every week is a huge plus.
Although Penn's re-signing didn't necessarily make waves, he could prove to be a fantastic value, and his performance is key for the Raiders moving forward.
Oakland is a talented, young team that seems to be on the rise, and if Penn can continue to keep Carr upright on a regular basis, then the Raiders have a chance to challenge for a playoff spot in the near future.
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