NAPA – Left tackle Donald Penn missed his first Raiders training camp practice on Saturday, the beginning of a holdout in search of a new contract. He wants a raise commiserate of his production.
This is his protest.
There’s no indication what will ultimately come of it, though it’s clear Penn has outplayed his current deal and the Raiders have cap space required to give him a bump. The front office, for their part, isn’t thrilled with Penn’s course of action.
Players and coaches certainly miss his presence.
“We’ve got nothing but love for D.P,” Khalil Mack said. “But we need him to hurry back and get that done.”
Mack certainly misses Penn on the field. The Pro Bowlers square off in most every practice, with epic battles throughout the years that have made both players better.
The Raiders have adjusted for Penn’s absence on the first-unit offensive line, with Marshall Newhouse playing left tackle and Vadal Alexander on the right.
That lineup shouldn’t see regular-season action unless someone gets hurt. It’s hard to imagine this holdout lasting a truly extended stretch, though it’s uncertain how much the parties have discussed a new deal Penn’s looking for.
Head coach Jack Del Rio was informed of the holdout on Friday, when he didn’t report with the full squad.
“My thought on that is that we love Donald,” Del Rio said. “He’s a good player and a good Raider. What’s important for us is to focus on the work here, on the guys that are here. That’s how we’re going to approach it. There’s a business side to this. There’s a time for pay and a time for play, and once we get to camp, my focus has to be on just growing and going forward. Obviously we love Donald and we’d love to have him. Hopefully that gets resolved shortly.”