Donald Penn misses Raiders' first training camp practice to make holdout official

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Sunday, July 30, 2017

NAPA, Calif. -- Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn's holdout became official when he missed the Oakland Raiders' first training camp practice on Saturday.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he did not know about Penn's pending holdout until Friday morning, but he would not say if it might be a distraction for a team coming off a 12-4 season and its first playoff appearance since 2002.

"We love Donald," Del Rio said following Saturday's initial camp practice. "He's a good Raider, good player, and what's important for us is to focus on the work here, on the guys that are here, and that's how we're going to approach it.

"There's a business side -- there's a time for pay and a time for play -- and once we get to camp, my focus has to be for our team, on just growing and going forward. Obviously, we love Donald, and we'd love to have him, and hopefully that gets resolved shortly."

Penn, 34, reportedly is miffed that his current salary -- he is scheduled to make $5.8 million in base this season -- does not rank in the top 10 among left tackles. ESPN Stats & Information has it as the 11th-highest base salary for the position.

Last season, Penn allowed only one sack on 621 pass snaps, per Pro Football Focus, though it was a big one: the hit that broke Derek Carr's right fibula in Week 16.

"I'll never put my hand in another man's pocket," Carr said. "So I'll stay far away from that. Everyone here, top to bottom, loves him. He knows that. But we're focused on who's here and getting better. He knows how everybody feels about him, but I'll never step into another man's situation like that."

In Penn's absence, newcomer Marshall Newhouse was the starting left tackle in practice, with second-year lineman Vadal Alexander at right tackle.

Penn re-signed with the Raiders on a two-year, $11.9 million contract in March 2016. He has yet to miss a regular-season game since he entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007. Penn did, however, miss the Raiders' playoff loss at the Houston Texans with a left knee injury.

Pro Football Focus gave Penn an overall grade of 86.3 last season, which ranked 12th among tackles, with a run-block grade of 88.7 (fifth) and a pass-blocking efficiency grade of 96.6 (sixth, with one sack allowed and 28 pressures).

Khalil Mack, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, has gone up against Penn in practice since he entered the league in 2014.

"One of the best in the game," Mack said of Penn. "Ain't nothing but love for D.P., but you need to hurry back."