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Oakland Raiders need to take care of Donald Penn

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Week 1 has already shown that the Oakland Raiders need to pay left tackle Donald Penn.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders left tackle Donald Penn held out for all of camp and most of the preseason over a contract dispute, returning despite receiving no resolution. General manager Reggie McKenzie doesn’t negotiate with players under contract that don’t report. So he promised that he would get right to work on a deal once he reported and according to NFL Network’s Michael Silver, that will be happening.

Last season Penn has outperformed his contract by a lot so his holdout was justified. And while many say that he lost his leverage by reporting, he actually has more leverage now.

Even though Penn wasn’t perfect in Week 1, we still saw why the Raiders need to pay him. Right tackle Marshall Newhouse did a great job in his place this preseason and looks trustworthy at left OT. But the Raiders cannot afford to have Vadal Alexander in Newhouse’s place at right tackle.

Alexander looked good in spots this preseason, leading the Raiders to rotate him with Newhouse. But that didn’t work out so well in Week 1 as Alexander was part of giving up back to back sacks in the second quarter. If he can’t handle the Tennessee Titans’ edge rushers, I don’t want to see him against the edge rushers of the AFC West.

He just isn’t ready yet so the Raiders need to stay the course with Newhouse at right tackle. This gives the Raiders the best chance to give up the least amount of sacks for the second year in a row. The two sacks given up with Alexander at right tackle are the only two the Raiders gave up Sunday.

The Raiders look like a contender now so there’s no need to risk it. They should give Penn his money and see how far the team can go this year.