Donald Penn was absent for all of training camp with the Oakland Raiders in search of a new contract. Nearly a month later, he finally got what he was looking for.
The veteran left tackle has agreed to a contract extension with the Raiders, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. It adds two years to his current deal that was due to expire at the end of this season.
Penn will earn $21 million across 2018 and 2019, which will make him the 13th highest paid left tackle in the NFL. There were reports that Penn wanted top-10 left tackle money, but an average of $10.5 million a season seems to have met his qualifications.
Holdouts can be tricky, in some cases resulting in players missing regular season action. Aside from Penn, there have been three other high-profile holdouts in 2017. Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams both pushed theirs to the last second, eventually returning to their teams before the first game last week. Duane Brown of the Houston Texans, on the other hand, is still absent; like Penn, he’s also a left tackle looking for a pay raise.
In Penn’s situation, however, there was little-to-no animosity between him and the Raiders. He essentially skipped training camp just to make a point about his desire for an extension, returning to the team when they left Napa, California for home base. General manager Reggie McKenzie had said all along that he would work with Penn on a new deal as soon as he showed up for work.
Penn will turn 35 in April, so his career is coming to a close. He hasn’t missed a regular season game during his time in the NFL, however, and his performance has warranted this kind of money as well. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him play out this new contract to a graceful retirement.