Raiders left tackle Donald Penn missed 26 preseason days holding out for a new contract. He reported to the Raiders without one.
Ultimately, however, the protest worked because Penn agreed to terms on a two-year, $21 million contract extension, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports California.
The deal provides guaranteed money next season.
And, more important for both sides, it never got ugly. The strong bond between Pro Bowler and front office remains intact, with both sides eventually happy with the outcome.
Penn got more money. The Raiders can retain a top-tier left tackle a little while longer.
NFL Network first reported the news on Friday morning.
Exact terms of the deal aren’t immediately known, but if Penn plays well this season, he’ll reportedly get guaranteed money in 2019.
That would push into his 14th season and age 36, though he plays a position with a longer shelf life.
Having Penn around also locks up the Raiders offensive line for a long time. Penn, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson are contracted through the 2019 season.
It wasn’t certain Penn would be around this long. He seemed content to ride out his pre-extension contract and then spend more time with his family. Then the Raiders started winning and his performance reached new heights, inspiring Penn to continue this unlikely NFL run.
Once an undrafted rookie from Utah State, Penn played eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He got cut after a regrettable 2013 season where he allowed 12 sacks, but quickly joined the Raiders. General manager Reggie McKenzie swooped him up and Penn experienced a career renaissance as the only NFL blindside protector Derek Carr has ever had.
He re-signed with the club in the 2016 offseason, allowed but one sack – produced by an ill-times slip, and Carr consequently got hurt – and made his first Pro Bowl.
That led to the final year off a deal that didn’t match his worth, so Penn sat out training camp in protest, and ultimately returned for his teammates and on faith the Raiders would come through. They promised to do so, and stuck to their word.
A source said talks ramped up this week and a deal got done that ends a prolonged contract issue that produced few ill effects. Penn was able to return in time to play Sunday’s regular-season opener. The Raiders wanted that. A new deal came shortly after. Penn wanted that. Both sides end up happy with more guaranteed money and security across the offensive line.