Raiders LT Donald Penn returns to practice, ending 26-day holdout

ByPaul Gutierrez via ESPN logo
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn ended his 26-day holdout and reported to the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday. And while it was immediately unclear whether Penn had received a new contract, he took the practice field to cheers and handshakes from his teammates.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he did say at the start of training camp that Penn already had a contract and he would not negotiate with a player who was not with the team.

To make room for Penn on the active roster, the Raiders waived defensive endJimmy Bean.

Penn, 34, was reportedly upset that his salary -- he was scheduled to make $5.8 million in base in 2017 -- did not rank in the top 10 of left tackles. Rather, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, Penn ranked 11th among pure left tackles, behind theWashington Redskins's Trent Williams ($11.25 million), the Houston Texans' Duane Brown ($9.65 million), the Buffalo Bills' Cordy Glenn ($9 million), the Jacksonville Jaguars' Branden Albert ($8.875 million), the Cleveland Browns' Joe Thomas ($8.8 million), the San Francisco 49ers' Joe Staley ($8.25 million), the Los Angeles Rams' Andrew Whitworth ($7.50 million), the Kansas City Chiefs' Eric Fisher ($6.85 million), the New England Patriots' Nate Solder ($6.5 million) and the Minnesota Vikings' Riley Reiff ($6.2 million).

Penn, who re-signed with Oakland on a two-year, $11.9 million deal in March 2016, was not scheduled to speak to the media Wednesday, according to a team spokesman.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was asked Tuesday how much Penn's return would mean to the team.

"It would obviously mean a lot, if that's what he decides to do," Carr said. "He's our teammate. We want all of our teammates here. We want to work hard together, we want to be together, we want to joke together. It's more than just football. We want to be there in his life with him, those kind of things. It would mean a lot, and obviously I would love it."

Since Penn was on the Reserve/Did Not Report List, the Raiders will have to make a corresponding roster move to make room for him on their 90-man roster.

With Penn out, newcomer Marshall Newhouse, who was signed to compete for the starting right tackle position, was at left tackle, while second-year player Vadal Alexander was at right tackle. Rookie David Sharpe was also getting first-team reps at left tackle.

Penn has not missed a regular-season game since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent out ofUtah Statewith the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007. He did, however, sit out Oakland's playoff loss at Houston in January with a left knee injury.

Pro Football Focus had Penn with 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 96.9 (sixth).

Penn was charged with allowing only one sack in 621 pass snaps last season, but it was a big one -- the hit that broke Carr's right fibula.

"That play sticks with me," Penn said in May during OTAs. "I'm going to try to do what I can do better and make sure it never happens again. I've never gotten a quarterback hurt in my life since I've been playing. That was a first. That's something I take pride in. I'm going to try my hardest to make sure that doesn't happen again."