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How much longer will Donald Penn last with Raiders?

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How numbered are left tackle Donald Penn’s days in Oakland now?

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

No matter what, Donald Penn’s days with the Oakland Raiders are numbered. It looks to be a matter of if they will cut the 35-year-old this offseason, in training camp, or next offseason. He would get paid $8.38 million this year and $10.35 million in 2019 if he’s still on the team. Cutting Penn now saves the Raiders $5.38 million and cutting him after the season saves them all of his $10.35 million in salary in 2019.

So which one will it be?

Early on, it was assumed the Raiders drafted Kolton Miller in Round 1 to play right tackle — a position he played plenty of in college — in 2018 and replace him some time after. But $5.38 million could help sign another player Jon Gruden likes between now and this season.

Plus there’s no guarantee Penn can come off Lisfranc surgery and play as well at 35. Just ask former Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford, who wasn’t 25 yet when he had his, about that one. So Gruden is looking to see if his 1st-round pick can handle left tackle before he does anything.

“We’re going to start him on the left side, get him comfortable over there.” Gruden said last week. “That’s where he has recently played. We like him at left tackle. We think he’s the prototype left tackle. He can bend, he’s got the length that you’re looking for and he’s a sharp kid.”

On the other hand this could just leverage to get Penn to take a pay cut. You know, the same leverage Penn used to get himself a bigger contract after holding out last year. At that time, the Raiders had no other viable option so they had to pay Penn. He did outplay his contract to that point but now, he’s injured and didn’t play quite as well last year. Plus management and ownership don’t forget when a player under contract holds out.

In a mailbag this morning, Vic Tafur of The Athletic had this to say about Penn’s status on the roster:

I wouldn’t bet against Penn. Remember that story years ago about how a guy broke into his house and Penn sat on him until the cops came? Tough, tough dude. Who’s locked in. I have no idea how quickly rookies Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker will develop, or what Penn would say to taking a paycut, so give me 67/33.

So, how much longer will Penn be a Raider?


How long will Donald Penn last as a Raider?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Cut before camp
    (215 votes)
  • 16%
    Cut prior to start of this season
    (530 votes)
  • 77%
    Cut after this season
    (2557 votes)
3302 votes total Vote Now