In his first two seasons with the Raiders, offensive left tackle Donald Penn was a bright spot. He solidified the line and protected Derek Carr's blind side.
But his deal with the Raiders expired after the 2015 season and it appeared for a while that Penn might sign elsewhere and Oakland might have to scramble to find his replacement.
Instead, the Raiders gave Penn a new two-year deal.
Now, as the team heads toward the start of training camp, Penn is excited he stayed put and is eager to see how far the Raiders can go in their second season under head coach Jack Del Rio.
"We've got it rolling now," said Penn, after signing his deal.
Penn, 32, is now the anchor on a solid offensive front that could be one of the team's strengths. After signing Kelechi Osemele as a free agent, the Raiders have Penn at left tackle, Osemele at left guard, Rodney Hudson at center and Gabe Jackson at right guard (having moved from the left side). Only right tackle, where Menelik Watson and Austin Howard are set to compete, has a question mark over it.
The Raiders brought in other big-name free agents aside from Osemele, with safety Reggie Nelson, linebacker Bruce Irvin and cornerback Sean Smith leading the way, and from what Penn has seen in offseason workouts, the newcomers are clicking with the holdovers.
"Everybody's just meshing so well," he said this week in an interview on 95.7 The Game. "It's kind of like a fairytale how everything's meshing, everything's coming together."
But Penn knows that the team didn't win anything during its offseason. He believes the team set a foundation for success over the past few months that could prove to be the difference this fall and winter.
"We can't wait to get out there and show the world what we've been working so hard to get done," Penn said in the interview. "We still have a lot of work ahead of us. We're excited to get going in training camp so we can really start fine tuning everything and getting everything going."
The full roster is scheduled to report to the Napa training facility on July 28, with the first full practice set for July 29.