Going into training camp, the only big question about the Raiders offensive line was at right tackle, and who would emerge as the starter between Austin Howard and Marshall Newhouse.
Now, there’s a bigger issue: When will Donald Penn report for work?
Penn, a Pro Bowl left tackle in 2016, is holding out in hopes of improving a deal that is set to pay him $5.8 million in 2017. Penn signed a two-year contract with Oakland in March of last year. Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com has reported Penn wants a deal that will put him among the NFL’s top 10 offensive tackles in the NFL. Right now, his deal ranks 11th, according to Gutierrez.
If Penn were to hold out, that would throw a wrench into the Raiders’ projected lineup, which would have one of the best lines in the league with Penn at left tackle, Kelechi Osemele at left guard, Rodney Hudson at center, Gabe Jackson at right guard and either Howard or Newhouse at right tackle. So far in camp, Newhouse has been the primary fill-in at left tackle with the first unit.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie told reporters Monday that Penn is “my guy” and he’s eager for Penn to report and get to work. McKenzie said Penn could be fined as much as $40,000 per day for his absence, but has so far not yet been fined, according to Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group.
McKenzie says Penn is at home in the Los Angeles area. He says the Raiders will continue to prepare for the season in Napa training camp, with or without Penn.
“We’re just going to focus on these young guys and practice and get those guys some reps,” McKenzie told reporters Monday. “And we’re going to just keep moving. We’ve got to practice.”