Raiders may be without Donald Penn as training camp begins
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
Jul. 29, 2017
NAPA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders arrived in Napa on Friday for the start of training camp amid reports that left tackle Donald Penn plans to hold out.
Penn, 34, is entering the final year of an $11.9 million, two-year contract he signed with the Raiders last offseason and is reportedly seeking to renegotiate the terms. Penn is scheduled to earn $5.8 million in base salary this season with another $1.3 million in incentives and bonuses.
The Raiders declined to comment.
The NFL Network first reported Penn's holdout.
The news came as the Raiders' veterans began checking into the hotel in Napa where they will spend the next three weeks. The team will hold its first practice of training camp on Saturday morning.
Center Rodney Hudson was among the arrivals and said he's hopeful Penn's situation won't drag on long.
"We've talked throughout the offseason," Hudson said. "I haven't quite spoken to him today but those things are going to work itself out at some point."
Penn has been a model of consistency since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2006 and is coming off his second Pro Bowl after being part of an offensive line that allowed a league-low 18 sacks in 2017.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Penn has started 156 consecutive regular-season games, the second-longest active streak among offensive linemen although he suffered a knee injury in the season finale and did not play in Oakland's first-round playoff loss to Houston.
Penn allowed only one sack in 2016, during Week 16 against Indianapolis, but it was a pivotal one: quarterback Derek Carr suffered a season-ending broken right fibula on the play.
The Raiders recently signed right guard Gabe Jackson to a $56 million, five-year extension. Left guard Kelechi Osemele inked a similar deal ($58.5 million, five years) last season, while Hudson is in the middle of his own five-year contract that is paying him $44.5 million.
Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie also inked Carr to a $125 million, five-year contract and has targeted defensive end Khalil Mack as the next player he wants to get a new deal done with.
Penn isn't likely to get a long-term contract like those but Hudson said the veteran left tackle is important to the Raiders' plans.
"He's been a big part of us," Hudson said. "I've been here two years and he's played well. With whatever's going on, it's going to work itself out."
Rookie cornerback Gareon Conley, the 24th overall pick, signed his contract Friday night and is expected to practice Saturday.
Earlier in the day, veteran offensive lineman Austin Howard went on social media with news that he had been released by the Raiders. Howard started 39 games over three seasons in Oakland, including 10 at right tackle in 2016.
"A lifetime of memories have been made these past three years, and I am grateful for every single one of them," Howard wrote on Instagram. "Unfortunately my time with the #Raiders has come to an end. To my OL dawgs, love y'all boys."
The Raiders also announced that they released running back Taiwan Jones, who was one of three players remaining on the team signed by late owner Al Davis after being drafted in 2011.
Oakland also signed long snapper Andrew East.
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