Donald Penn has agreed to the Raiders’ request to restructure his contract, clearing the way for the veteran tackle to remain with the team in 2018.
Penn, who is on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform List as he recovers from foot surgery in December, received a new deal from Oakland last year after holding out in training camp. But Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported previously that the franchise wanted to restructure the deal to clear more space under the salary cap this season.
Gehlken was the first to report the two sides had reached a deal Monday night. He reported Penn will receive “more guaranteed money over the final two years of his deal in exchange for accepting new team-friendly parameters” that likely will result in less salary guaranteed this season, with money shifted to bonuses and incentives.
In Penn's absence, No. 1 draft pick Kolton Miller has been playing left tackle with the first unit of the offense. It’s believed that once Penn returns, Miller can then switch over to the right tackle position. That could give the Raiders a formidable offensive line for 2018, with Penn and Miller at tackles, Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson at guards and Rodney Hudson at center.
There had been speculation that if Penn and the Raiders couldn’t reach an agreement, Penn’s future with the franchise could be in doubt. At 35 years old, Penn could have been deemed too expensive and nearing the end of his career – with Miller and fellow 2018 draft pick Brandon Parker or veteran Breno Giacomini ready to step into the lineup.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com had written recently that it was “very much up in the air” whether the Raiders would trade or release Penn if he refused to renegotiate a deal.
In the Raiders’ first exhibition game of the season, Penn reportedly was on the sidelines, talking to Miller and giving him tips on his play vs. the Detroit Lions.
The Raiders will play exhibition game No. 2 this Saturday against the Rams in Los Angeles.