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Bucs G.M. says Donald Penn’s appetite has kept him from getting paid

So why haven’t the (allegedly) cash-strapped Buccaneers signed left tackle Donald Penn to a long-term deal?

According to G.M. Mark Dominik, Penn’s plight arises from his inability to push himself away from the table.

I’m really disappointed,” Dominik said at a Wednesday fan Q&A session at One Buc Place, via “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. . . . When you look at the film, he continued to digress [during the final third of the season]. . . . This has nothing to do with money from the organization. This has nothing to do with the Glazers and their financial situation. This is strictly for him to show what he is as a football player.”

We’ve got three observations.

First, if Dominik feels that way about Penn, why in the hell did the team tender him at the highest possible level, putting $3.168 million on the table? They could have applied the same approach the Rams utilized with safety O.J. Atogwe, squatting on his rights for a low-level tender of roughly $1 million, keeping the ability to match any other offer he might have received.

Second, we thought that the Glazers had no “financial situation.”

Third, how in the hell does a guy gain 40 pounds during football season, and how does the team let him do it?

We realize that most if not all NFL teams lie from time to time or, as the case may be, always. But teams should at least try to tell plausible lies. And, frankly, we don’t believe for a second that Penn gained 40 pounds during the season, or that the reluctance to sign him to a long-term deal comes from anything other than a reluctance (or an inability) to pay him a large pile of money.