The Raiders and veteran left tackle Donald Penn have reached an agreement to restructure his contract, a source told the Bay Area News Group on Monday evening.
Penn’s new deal actually includes more guaranteed money over the next two years than his original deal did, according to the source, and now the next step for the 35-year-old is to get healthy after taking a pay cut.
Penn was originally due to make $6 million in base salary this season with over $1.5 million in a roster bonus, $600,000 in a workout bonus and $250,000 in a miscellaneous bonus. Penn’s guaranteed salary this season was set at $3 million.
Penn has yet to practice during training camp while recovering from December Lisfranc surgery. While his foot heals, rookie first-rounder Kolton Miller has served as the first-team left tackle. After Miller played two series in Friday’s preseason opener, Penn was seen instructing the 15th overall pick on the sideline with his own footwork and squatting demonstrations.
Miller committed a costly holding penalty that negated a 60-yard Marshawn Lynch touchdown run, but was otherwise sturdy in his NFL debut.
Penn has been moving well on a side field with a trainer in Napa, but Jon Gruden didn’t shed any light on when the veteran may return to action when asked on Monday.
“It’s an ongoing process,” the Raiders’ head coach said. “We’ll update you when we know something.”
If Penn gets healthy enough to start again, and the Raiders think he’s still capable, it will be interesting to see what Gruden does with Miller. The rookie has yet to get reps at right tackle during training camp, while Ian Silberman, Breno Giacomini, David Sharpe and Brandon Parker have cycled through the right tackle spot.
Miller has expressed in the past his preference for playing on the left side rather than the right, but the Raiders and Penn restructuring his deal may indicate the team plans to involve him in their offense this year. There’s always the possibility Penn starts at left tackle, and Miller plays the role of left tackle understudy until he’s ready to take over.
The Raiders took care of one financial order of business on Monday. Now onto the more important one of getting their best player to show up.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal was the first to report Penn and the Raiders agreeing on a restructured deal.