As a Raiders fan growing up, Donald Penn has made no secret of how much he would like to stay with the Raiders. He was very excited to get a chance to play for the Raiders when they signed him two years ago following his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Raiders have said they would like to have Penn back, and yet he is set to become a free agent, presumably because he and the Raiders have not been able to agree to terms on a new contract.
At times in this process Penn has said he signed with the Raiders on a ‘promotional' deal the past two years and would like to be paid more like his improved production the past two seasons. That could be the sticking point that has him in this position where he is testing his market value the past couple days.
"This time it's a little different," Penn said on NFL Now earlier today. "This time it's not coming off of my worst season in my career. Now I'm coming off two of the best seasons of my career, so it's good to be Donald right now. I'm happy and I would like to stay in Oakland, but... I let my emotions get into it earlier, so I'm trying not to anymore and let the business side take care of it. I'm just sitting back and I'm waiting to see what happens. We have drawn interest from a couple other teams which is good, but, you know, Oakland does have a slight edge because we have a lot of stuff going on and I have a lot I feel like I left that I want to finish."
A player letting his emotions get into these things is understandable. They grow close to their teammates and coaches and a pride in the uniform. For Penn, as a lifelong fan of the team for which he suited up the past two seasons along with being close to his home in Los Angeles would make the process that much more difficult.
It's clear from this interview that all things being equal or perhaps even similar between the Raiders value of him and other teams, he would rather remain with the Raiders.
The question now becomes if the Raiders signing Osemele to an $11.7 million per year contract would mean they have moved on. Osemele can play guard or tackle, which could still leave the door open for Penn to return, providing another team doesn't give him an offer the Raiders are unwilling to give.