Wednesday Jon Gruden made it official; Donald Penn will not be returning this season. The former Pro Bowl left tackle had moved to right tackle this season and in his fourth start he injured his leg and was placed on injured reserve. That made him eligible to return this season and he had even returned to practice a few weeks ago. But the Raiders have opted not to activate him again this season.
“Yeah, he won’t be playing this year,” Gruden announced Wednesday. “Hopefully he’ll get himself back in great shape... and hopefully be a part of this in the future.”
Even with Gruden’s hopes for Penn to return, there’s no guarantee he will be back next season. He’s got a year left on his contract, which he had held out to secure prior to the 2017 season. Then prior to his return from a foot injury during training camp, he renegotiated that contract to lower his salaries in both 2018 and 2019.
The renegotiated contract puts his salary cap hit at $7.23 million next season with just $1.75 million in dead money if he’s cut. Much of that would be received through incentives, according to Over the Cap, making his contract quite friendly.
Penn will turn 36 in April and the Raiders drafted players at both tackle spots they hope are the long term answer. If they feel at some point that they’re not, or just need more time to develop, having Penn around as an insurance plan could be a valuable thing. But one could also understand, with Penn suffering serious injuries each of the past three seasons, that it might be time for him to hang up his cleats.
Do you think the Raiders should have Donald Penn back next year?
This poll is closed
Yes, it doesn’t hurt and could be a big help
No, it’s time for the team and Penn to move on