Donald Penn is not happy with how things went down in Tampa Bay. The man who was a steady presence at left tackle for the past seven seasons for the Buccaneers feels the Buccaneers were not altogether honest in their dealings with him over the past few months leading up to his subsequent release following their signing of his replacement, Anthony Collins.
I asked him if he saw his release coming or if he was caught off guard by it.
"It was a little bit of both," Penn responded. "Their communication really sucked when we got around there. They really didn't let me know anything. I talked to the head coach when he got hired, talked to the Oline coach and everything sounded good. Then I just started seeing all these reports about [Anthony] Collins visiting and I woke up the day of his signing when he agreed to a deal and saw those reports, still hadn't heard anything from them. Then they called me about ten or fifteen minutes before the press conference to tell me I was getting released. So, it was a little surprising."
This move was the end result in a lot of frustration that had begun in the season and he was primed to use that season as motivation. The Buccaneers never gave him that chance, and four years after signing a six-year deal with the team, they released him.
"Oh man, I had a chip on my shoulder when the season ended this past season because I feel like I was coming off my worst season of my career and they just added more fuel to the fire, you know, the Bucs releasing me. So, I have a big chip on my shoulder and I'm ready to get back at it. I wish the season started in a month."
The 30-year-old veteran tackle will have plenty of opportunity to put that chip to good use. The Raiders officially announced his signing Wednesday and he is expected to be the new starter at left tackle in place of the departed Jared Veldheer.
The Redskins were also interested in signing him but they wanted him for right tackle. The Raiders made it clear he was in their plans at left tackle.
"I wasn't ready to play right tackle yet," Penn continued. "I feel like I'm a great left tackle and I had a great talk with the Oline coach in Oakland. We had a great talk and I love scheme. They're doing great things in free agency right now. I love talking to coach Allen, his vision really sold me and the way Greg Olson works as offensive coordinator was big because I played well a couple of years and I had some of my best years as a player in Greg Olson's offense."
Aside from the coaches in Oakland being a draw for him, he also grew up in Playa Del Rey in Southern California and has fond memories of attending Raiders games from when they were in Los Angeles.
"I'm looking forward to that, and being closer to home and playing for a team I grew up watching, I used to go to the games and tailgate with my dad when I was younger. That was a big thing. And trying to turn the Oakland Raiders back around to the team I knew when I was growing up."
It would appear Donald Penn is in a much better place now. In more ways than one.