Tag:Donald Penn
Posted on: July 30, 2010 7:04 pm

Bucs and LT Donald Penn reach agreement

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network is reporting that the Buccaneers and left tackle Donald Penn have agreed to terms on a new contract. Specifics are not yet know. D. Penn

This ends what has been one of the uglier negotiation standoffs in the NFL this season. Penn was tendered as an RFA back in spring but refused to sign and vehemently demanded a long-term deal. Bucs GM Mark Dominik at one point suggested Penn would have a long-term contract if the team had more trust in his ability to control his weight. (Dominik quickly apologized.) The Bucs have apparently realized that they have no options outside of Penn at left tackle.

Penn, a fifth-year pro, is one of the rounder human beings you’ll ever see, but he has surprisingly soft feet. He lacks ideal quickness but compensates with crafty technique. He deserves to be paid like a top 10 left tackle but nothing more. We'll soon learn what the Bucs ended up giving him.

-- Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 27, 2010 8:43 pm

Bucs look past Penn's potential holdout

It looks like the Buccaneers will be moving on without LT Donald Penn for now.

According to the St. Petersburg Times , Tampa Bay isn’t planning any “meaningful discussions” about a contract extension with Penn before training camp opens.

Penn, a restricted free agent, was offered a tender of $3.168 million, but he refused to sign. The Bucs reduced the offer to 110 percent of his 2009 salary – only $100,000 less than their tender offer – but Penn, quite obviously, didn’t budge.

Though Tampa Bay’s GM, Mark Dominik, made a rather unprofessional comment about Penn’s weight at a session with fans earlier in the offseason, Penn has prided himself on not talking negatively about the organization. It’s probably because he has more leverage than the Buccaneers.

The candidate that would replace him at LT is Demar Dotson, who’s never started an NFL game. From Rick Stroud’s story:

Beginning Saturday, the Bucs will pay close attention to Dotson.

The better Dotson plays, the less likely Penn is to get a long-term contract this year. But if Dotson performs poorly, Penn's argument will be fortified and anything is possible.

The value of the contract Penn seeks is unknown. But the team has to assume it's in the range of the six-year, $60 million deals recently signed by the Jets' D'Brickashaw Ferguson and the Panthers' Jordan Gross.

Restricted free agents have until Week 10 of the regular season to sign their tenders or must sit out the year.

For now, assuming Penn doesn’t sign in the next few days, it’ll be Dotson – and perhaps a few others – trying to fill the LT role. The Bucs will be watching closely. And so will quarterback Josh Freeman.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 9, 2010 8:52 pm

Bucs sign vet OG Keydrick Vincent

In the past two seasons, Keydrick Vincent started all 30 games he played with the Carolina Panthers. Now, he’ll get a chance to work with the Buccaneers offensive linemen - and maybe take somebody's job.

The St. Petersburg Times writes Tampa Bay has signed Vincent to a two-year contract, while ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the deal is worth $4.5 million.

It’s an interesting move for the Buccaneers, who have been using Jeremy Zuttah at left guard. Zuttah is a third-year player, so perhaps the Buccaneers like Vincent and his nine years of experience. Or perhaps the club wants Vincent – a solid run-blocker – to push for Zuttah’s starting spot to try to get more production out of RBs Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward.

Or maybe the team is trying to buy some insurance in case LT Donald Penn doesn’t sign a new contract. Zuttah, after all, played some offensive tackle while at Rutgers.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: June 28, 2010 11:56 am

The situation with Donald Penn

Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times writes that if anybody loses in Donald Penn’s summer of discontent, it'll be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rather than the currently-unsigned LT.

As Holder says, it’s all about leverage. Consider: Penn can’t be fined during training camp because he’s unsigned, so he doesn’t stand to lose any additional money after refusing to sign his restricted free agent offer. The team can only reduce its offer to him by $100,000, and that’s certainly not enough to entice Penn to play, especially if he thinks he can make much bigger money. So, the Buccaneers don’t have much leverage against Penn.

Penn, on the other hand, has plenty of leverage against his team. Consider: there is no other LT waiting in the wings. Heck, second-year backup Demar Dotson basically has admitted he’s not ready to fill Penn’s shoes, and the Buccaneers can’t be thrilled that nobody is there to protect potential standout QB Josh Freeman’s blind side.

It also should be noted that Penn played under a restricted free agent tender last year, so it’s hard not to find some sympathy with him (if you can, in fact, muster sympathy for a player who stands to make, at the least, $3 million this season). It’s also not difficult to see the Buccaneers will have to take care of Penn and offer him more money.

Usually, it's the team that has the leverage against the player. Not this time, though.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: June 21, 2010 2:22 pm

Eyebrow-raising comments by Donald Penn's Backup

Usually, when a veteran starter is away, his backup relishes an opportunity to fill in and maybe steal his job. Not so with Donald Penn’s backup Demar Dotson. In a story by Anwar Richardson on TBO.com, here’s what the Bucs backup left tackle, who was undrafted in’09, had to say after the team’s Monday morning mini camp session:

"I'm not saying I'm a good left tackle. I don't even know if I'm a starting left tackle or not at this moment. If you ask me, I'm not. I'm working at it, taking these reps while Penn is away and I look forward to Penn getting here soon and protecting Josh's blindside."

At leas the apparently humble and honest Dotson is relishing his opportunity to become a more versatile player. "At McDonald's, if all you can do is work the grill, if you got somebody who can work the grill and the tables, you lose your job," Dotson said. "That's all I'm trying to do, come out here and be more flexible in whatever they ask me to do, whether it's right tackle, left tackle, backup, starting, tight end, whatever."

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 21, 2010 11:30 am

Donald Penn's Messy Situation in Tampa

When the Buccaneers open mandatory minicamp today, they’ll be without left tackle Donald Penn. The frustrated fifth-year pro is holding out for a long-term contract, having refused to sign his $3.168 million restricted free agent tender. The Bucs have exercised their option to reduce his ’10 salary to 110 percent of his ’09 salary, which, in the end, cost Penn about $100,000.

Penn and Bucs GM Mark Dominik have publicly exchanged a few verbal jabs. Dominik recently apologized to Penn for a comment about how the left tackle gained 40 pounds during the second half of last season. Dominik did not know he was speaking on the record at the time but later said, "You should always live in a world or a society when you're always on and (my comment) was insensitive and that's why I apologized to (Penn).'

Penn is most frustrated with the fact that he went through a similar process as this last year. “You have to look at all these guys getting tendered. It’s their first year getting tendered. Only me and the guy from Houston (tight end Owen Daniels) got tendered two years in a row. I’m in a different boat than them. It happened to me twice in a row, so it’s kind of tough. I’m going to be patient, be calm and control what I can control. Everything that’s going on right now is out of my control. If we had a new (collective bargaining agreement) I would never have been in this position.”

One thing is clear: the Bucs and Penn both need each other. Penn can’t afford to sit out the season. He’d cost himself millions in the next round of contract negotiations if he did. And the Bucs can’t afford to be without Penn. They have absolutely no depth along the offensive line. Their only backup offensive tackle to even be drafted is Xavier Fulton, and he’s a callow fifth-round rookie.

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 17, 2010 8:33 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 8:40 pm

Penn to skip mini-camp

The latest with Tampa Bay LT Donald Penn is that he’s not planning to show up for next week’s Buccaneers mini-camp. This, according to the St. Petersburg Times .

Penn, a restricted free agent, was offered a $3.168 million tender, but because he refused to sign by Tuesday’s deadline, the team lowered the offer by $100,000. Penn – like just about everybody else who didn’t sign their tenders – wants a long-term deal.

The reason why he might not get one? Well, according to whatthebuc.net – a Bucs fan site – Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik told a group of season-ticket holders Wednesday that Penn put on too much weight for the team to offer him a long-term extension. Though whatthebuc.net erased the original post because “people are going NUTS,” Tampa Bay officials told JoeBucsFan.com that the question-and-answer session was supposed to be off the record.

"I'm really disappointed," Dominik said in comments that Pro Football Talk has kept on its site. "When you think about a left tackle and how important that position is, especially to a young franchise quarterback. And that guy during the season gains 40 pounds and basically turns his back to nutrition and keeping himself in shape, that's disappointing to me. Rightfully so. I'm just being blatantly honest with you. And I expected better from him.”

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: June 15, 2010 1:36 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2010 1:51 pm

Donald Penn Ignores Deadline

Bucs left tackle Donald Penn has not signed his one-year RFA tender. If the Bucs exercise their option to reduce his salary to 110 percent of last year’s base salary (which GM Mark Dominik has previously indicated they’d do), then Penn could lose $100,000.

Tampa Bay has been high on Penn since they signed him as an undrafted rookie off Minnesota’s practice squad in 2006. Over the past few seasons, Penn – who is much bigger than his listed weight of 305 – has morphed his sloppy skill set and slow feet into a reliable all-around package. He engulfs pass-rushers early in downs in order to avoid facing them on an island. In the run game, he sets the edge and allows Tampa’s athletic guards to move in space.

The Bucs have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to submit a reduced offer to Penn. If they don’t submit a revised tender, he can sign their original offer.

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
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