Today, a tweet from National Football Post writer Aaron Wilson said that re-siging Donald Penn is a "top priority" for the Raiders. Some outlets have picked that statement up and ran with it. Unfortunately, everything leading up to now suggests otherwise.
One of the Oakland Raiders' top priorities as they have a ton of salary-cap room is hammering out new deal for offensive tackle Donald Penn— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 29, 2016
This statement itself is interesting considering it sites no sources whether named or otherwise. It reads more as an assumption based on the Raiders' "ton of salary-cap room". Though, it's certainly possible Wilson came to this conclusion based on something he was told.
Let me start by making it clear that the Raiders could very well re-sign Donald Penn. I'm not saying that isn't a possible eventually. But "top priority"? Come on.
A top priority was Michael Crabtree who the team extended during last season. A top priority would not have had to take to the airwaves frustrated with the fact that the Raiders hadn't been in contact with him or his agent for more than a month following the season. A top priority wouldn't have had to resort to completely stripping Raiders from his social media accounts and referring to himself as a free agent.
Penn told me last week that his agent and the Raiders were to meet at the scouting combine in Indianapolis which comes to a close today. It is a common practice for teams to meet with the agents of their own free agents at the combine. But the two sides meeting is not a signal of Penn being a top priority. Nor is Wilson's assertion a signal that the meetings were productive.
The free agent tackle has said he had been playing "at a promotional price" and now it's time for the Raiders to "pay the full price" for his services. It's possible the Raiders talking with Penn's agent is making him a priority at this point. But it's also possible the two sides have a very different idea of what "full price" should be.
Interesting as well is that not an hour after this report came out, the Raiders announced they had extended punter Marquette King. Even at this point, the team's priority was literally elsewhere.