Donald Penn is out there on the open market, roughly a day away from full-blown unrestricted free agency. The veteran left tackle has options for future employment, but it’s clear that he’d like to stay with the Oakland Raiders.
That was evident during a Tuesday during an in-studio interview with NFL Network. The Raiders want Penn to return and re-join a Justice League offensive line featuring center Rodney Hudson, guard Gabe Jackson, right tackle Austin Howard and the soon-to-be-executed signing of guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele.
There’s mutual interest. There’s also an impasse. The sides haven’t agreed on financing.
Penn’s been eligible to field offers from other teams since Monday morning, and will continue to line up options should his first choice not pan out.
“I’ve been open about my plan, and my plan is to be a Raider,” Penn said. “We’re trying to figure out if the feeling is mutual. They tell me it is. ... We’ll see what’s going to happen. Only time will tell.
“The good thing for me is that I am (receiving) interest from other teams. That’s a positive, but the Raiders still have first (rights). We’re waiting on them.”
Despite the fact the Raiders will give a massive amount to Osemele, as much as $60 million over five years, Penn called it a “great signing” for the Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr.
Osemele could replace him at tackle, but is far better on the interior line. Keeping Penn would allow the new kid to play to his strength.
Penn played a solid left tackle over the life of a two-year, $9.6 million contract signed in the 2014 offseason. He wants a raise for what could be the last contract of his NFL career. Penn is nearly 33 years old and, despite playing well, doesn’t plan on playing forever.
“I want to play two or three more years,” Penn said. “That’s my personal goal. I know I could play a lot longer, but the body feels great. I play in a tough division. It isn’t easy playing left tackle in the AFC West, and I’ve done a good job at it. We’ll see what happens.”
In addition to Oakland, Penn inferred that Seattle is another suitor. Penn’s heart still seems to be with the Raiders at this time, especially after being part of a 2015 season that forecasts brighter days ahead.
“The Raiders are a team on the up and up,” Penn said. “Seattle is also on the rise, and you never know what they’re going to do with (incumbent left tackle Russell Okung, also a free agent). That’s another possibility. There are other possibilities, too.
“The Raiders have done a great thing. When I got there, I said I wanted to turn things around, and I feel like I haven’t finished that yet. We’re going to see if the Raiders give me an opportunity to finish that job. We’re going to find out soon.”