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DefenseWins

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: June 16, 2010, 12:26:38 PM

From Steve White's blog:
http://passingonthegame.blogspot.com/


There was rare news on the free agency front last week coming from the Buccaneers. Unfortunately, it wasn't positive.

Donald Penn who has been boycotting the offseason workout program and OTAs and whom has not signed is restricted free agent tender so far was sent a "warning letter" from the Bucs essentially saying that if he didn't sign his tender by June 15th, the team would reduce the tender to 110% of his 2009 salary instead.

Sounds like a very serious threat right?

That is until you realize that the difference between what he is being offered now and what he would be offered after June 15th is "just" $100,000.00. I put air quotes around "just" because I realize that for most of us $100 grand is no little bit of money. But for one of the premier left tackles in the NFC its peanuts in the grand scheme of things. And understand this, no matter how many different ways the Bucs try to call him fat when the subject of his play comes up, Donald Penn is a premier left tackle in the NFL.

And really, the fact that there is "only" a $100,000 dollar difference speaks volumes as to why Penn has every right to blow off the offer. Here is a guy who has brought the most stability to our left tackle position that we have had since the Paul Gruber era, starting the last 3 years, who essentially will only be looking at by my calculations a $200,000 bump in salary.

Those dollars don't make any sense.

So let me detail for you, the average fan, as to why you should actually be supporting him taking a stand.

Back to the subject of Donald Penn being a premier left tackle. First off it should be telling that whenever his name comes up the Bucs never talk about his play, but instead his weight. Now I realize that he did get big last year and yes he has taken steps to address that, but my question to you is did you see him play?

I did.

And he was not just a guy out there for us. On an offensive line that everyone seems to say underachieved he was the bell cow. Sunday after Sunday he faced teams best pass rusher and more than held his own. As a matter of fact in many games he was dominant. And lets look at some of the guys he faced last year. Demarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora, Andre Carter, Julius Peppers, Trent Cole, Clay Matthews, Will Smith and John Abraham.

That's what you call a murderers row of defensive ends to face in one season. And you tell me, how many bad games did he have? I don't remember any. That's not to say he didn't allow any sacks all year. But it is to say at the end of most of the games last season I would say he got the better of each exchange.

The Bucs say they want to build a dynasty that will hold up over time. Well one of the essential elements of doing that is locking up your own talent long term. The reason why the Bucs were good to great from around 1997 to 20002 was the fact that they identified their outstanding players early on and locked them down with long term deals. Now, at a time when the team is close to silent in free agency, how can they possibly justify not signing one of their best and most consistent players to a long term deal?

Its simple, they can't.

They say that Josh Freeman will be the face of the franchise for the next 10 years. Well let me tell you this, that face will be bumped and bruised if we don't have a great left tackle out there protecting his blind side. Donald Penn has proved himself for three years now that he is more than up to the task. Look around the roster. Is there anybody else that you feel comfortable keeping Freeman clean?

And go back to the contract numbers. Its not as if Penn is being greedy. He played for relative peanuts those first couple of seasons and never uttered one word of disenchantment. He got a better deal last year but it still wasn't commiserate with his level of play. And now all the Bucs see fit to offer him is a relatively small bump in pay on only a one year deal? A year in which he could be injured and have his value drop tremendously?

In the immortal words of Ricky Waters, "for who? for what"?

Its not as if the team has shown themselves willing to do right by injured guys. Jimmy Wilkerson played well last year and then gets injured at the end of the year. And what did he get for his trouble? A lowball offer on a one year deal. Fortunately for him the New Orleans Saints saw enough to give him a better offer and he signed with them. But think about that for a minute. The reigning World Champions of the NFL saw value in Wilkerson when the team he played for didn't. Doesn't that strike you as, at the least, odd?

I know people will point to the CBA and an impending lockout as reasons to not give Penn a longterm deal but lets look at the Saints again. They locked up one of their outstanding young guards, Jahiri Evans, to a long term deal on a deal worth more than $50 million dollars over 7 years. Evidently the CBA and the potential for a lockout didn't make them shy away from signing one of their best young players to a long term deal, so why would it preclude the Bucs from doing the same?

The simple answer is it wouldn't. And remember that but for the owners allowing the CBA to expire Penn would be a unrestricted free agent this year due to make exactly what he is worth on the open market. Just like some people will say that it was just bad luck and bad timing for him but those are the rules, I would say that he then should use those same rules to his advantage.

NFL players are allowed to hold out until the final 6 games of the season then come in and play and still get an accrued season. With negotiations between the owners and the NFLPA on a new CBA looking to be at a stalemate making it more likely that there will be no football in 2011, Donald Penn has every right to protect his livelihood by holding out until such time that the Buccaneers come to their senses and grant him the long term deal he deserves or until the last 6 games to preserve his accrued season. I know its hard for fans to be on the side of players who are trying to maximize their value at times, but with the way the NFL is these days and players getting spit out even in the middle of their primes because someone deems them "over the hill" you at least have to see their side of it.

If Donald Penn's weight is so much of a concern the Bucs could always include clauses in the contract to protect themselves if he balloons up again. But the fact remains that no matter what the numbers say when he steps on the scales, the guy comes to play game in and game out. Its time for the Buccaneers to step up and put their money where their mouth is and pay the man. And if not its time for them to see what life would be like without him.

It is what it is.





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Biggs3535

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#1 : June 16, 2010, 12:37:13 PM

And understand this, no matter how many different ways the Bucs try to call him fat when the subject of his play comes up, Donald Penn is a premier left tackle in the NFL.

I stopped reading here, and why I really don't put a lot of stock into White's stuff.  Joe Thomas, Jake Long, Jared Gaither, Michael Oher, Ryan Clady, Jason Peters, etc. are "premier left tackles" in the NFL.  Donald Penn isn't.


Feel Real Good

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#2 : June 16, 2010, 12:43:45 PM

Quote
Here is a guy who has brought the most stability to our left tackle position that we have had since the Paul Gruber era

Some big time competition in that group.

FRG is the most logical poster on this board.  You guys just don\'t like where the logical conclusions take you.

cheveliar

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#3 : June 16, 2010, 12:51:00 PM

And understand this, no matter how many different ways the Bucs try to call him fat when the subject of his play comes up, Donald Penn is a premier left tackle in the NFL.

I stopped reading here, and why I really don't put a lot of stock into White's stuff. Joe Thomas, Jake Long, Jared Gaither, Michael Oher, Ryan Clady, Jason Peters, etc. are "premier left tackles" in the NFL. Donald Penn isn't.

Even if he isn't a premier guy in your eyes.  Heck in anyone's eyes, what do we have behind him right now?  Are we making that move for Gaither? What will we need to do to draft a premier guy? This just in...ooops, draft over...dang no tackles picked. In the meantime will Soul Glow survive until we get this right?  You guys can belittle the man all you want but he's our ONLY viable choice this year at left tackle. I think the anger about and for Penn is displaced.  FO is playing hardball with the health of your franchise QB, basically...but you want to get mad at a guy who has played for little or nothing, proved himself against the best in the NFC, and just wants to get paid like it...

Without Carl Nix it feels like our running game just took a death blow to the face!


Biggs3535

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#4 : June 16, 2010, 12:57:48 PM

And understand this, no matter how many different ways the Bucs try to call him fat when the subject of his play comes up, Donald Penn is a premier left tackle in the NFL.

I stopped reading here, and why I really don't put a lot of stock into White's stuff. Joe Thomas, Jake Long, Jared Gaither, Michael Oher, Ryan Clady, Jason Peters, etc. are "premier left tackles" in the NFL. Donald Penn isn't.

Even if he isn't a premier guy in your eyes.  Heck in anyone's eyes, what do we have behind him right now?  Are we making that move for Gaither? What will we need to do to draft a premier guy? This just in...ooops, draft over...dang no tackles picked. In the meantime will Soul Glow survive until we get this right?  You guys can belittle the man all you want but he's our ONLY viable choice this year at left tackle. I think the anger about and for Penn is displaced.  FO is playing hardball with the health of your franchise QB, basically...but you want to get mad at a guy who has played for little or nothing, proved himself against the best in the NFC, and just wants to get paid like it...

Penn has been paid just as well as he would have been if he were actually drafted in the 2nd/3rd round.  Someone posted those numbers (and a comparison with Marcus McNeil - who has clearly outplayed Penn) and Penn has been paid for about what he was worth.

If Penn wants to get a big payday from the Bucs or anyone else, he'll play this season.


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#5 : June 16, 2010, 01:05:06 PM

Penn's best option is to sit it out until the final 6 games.  I think that's the limit to get a year's credit.  Then, he goes to UFA...

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cheveliar

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#6 : June 16, 2010, 01:06:52 PM

And understand this, no matter how many different ways the Bucs try to call him fat when the subject of his play comes up, Donald Penn is a premier left tackle in the NFL.

I stopped reading here, and why I really don't put a lot of stock into White's stuff. Joe Thomas, Jake Long, Jared Gaither, Michael Oher, Ryan Clady, Jason Peters, etc. are "premier left tackles" in the NFL. Donald Penn isn't.

Even if he isn't a premier guy in your eyes. Heck in anyone's eyes, what do we have behind him right now? Are we making that move for Gaither? What will we need to do to draft a premier guy? This just in...ooops, draft over...dang no tackles picked. In the meantime will Soul Glow survive until we get this right? You guys can belittle the man all you want but he's our ONLY viable choice this year at left tackle. I think the anger about and for Penn is displaced. FO is playing hardball with the health of your franchise QB, basically...but you want to get mad at a guy who has played for little or nothing, proved himself against the best in the NFC, and just wants to get paid like it...

Penn has been paid just as well as he would have been if he were actually drafted in the 2nd/3rd round. Someone posted those numbers (and a comparison with Marcus McNeil - who has clearly outplayed Penn) and Penn has been paid for about what he was worth.

If Penn wants to get a big payday from the Bucs or anyone else, he'll play this season.

Forget the comparrisons dude, what has he done for the Bucs lately?  And what will happen if he's not there for all but 6 games?  

Without Carl Nix it feels like our running game just took a death blow to the face!


Simms2Clayton05

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#7 : June 16, 2010, 01:08:38 PM

Penn's best option is to sit it out until the final 6 games.  I think that's the limit to get a year's credit.  Then, he goes to UFA...

why? So he can show everybody how he quit on his team? Real smart. You would def lose money if you did that.


DefenseWins

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#8 : June 16, 2010, 01:10:06 PM

And understand this, no matter how many different ways the Bucs try to call him fat when the subject of his play comes up, Donald Penn is a premier left tackle in the NFL.

I stopped reading here, and why I really don't put a lot of stock into White's stuff. Joe Thomas, Jake Long, Jared Gaither, Michael Oher, Ryan Clady, Jason Peters, etc. are "premier left tackles" in the NFL. Donald Penn isn't.

Even if he isn't a premier guy in your eyes.  Heck in anyone's eyes, what do we have behind him right now?  

Exactly. Nobody behind him to protect the franchise, and he is held well against competition last year.






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calicojack

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#9 : June 16, 2010, 01:10:51 PM

Penn's best option is to sit it out until the final 6 games.  I think that's the limit to get a year's credit.  Then, he goes to UFA...

why? So he can show everybody how he quit on his team? Real smart. You would def lose money if you did that.



The money you think he loses, he'll more than make up on the next contract...

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DefenseWins

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#10 : June 16, 2010, 01:11:19 PM

Penn's best option is to sit it out until the final 6 games. �I think that's the limit to get a year's credit. �Then, he goes to UFA...

why? So he can show everybody how he quit on his team? Real smart. You would def lose money if you did that.



The administration has caused this.







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DefenseWins

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#11 : June 16, 2010, 01:13:41 PM

The owners have "quit" on the team, if anyone has.







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tatmanfish

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#12 : June 16, 2010, 01:16:05 PM

Penn's best option is to sit it out until the final 6 games.  I think that's the limit to get a year's credit.  Then, he goes to UFA...

why? So he can show everybody how he quit on his team? Real smart. You would def lose money if you did that.



The money you think he loses, he'll more than make up on the next contract...

well, hell lose around $2mil in game checks if he does that. Add in the fact that holding out during the regular season will definately raise some flags for other teams. Not sure your even close to hitting the nail.

Dont forget that supposably this FA will be flooded with talent and Penn might be the 3rd or 4th option for teams looking for a LT.



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DefenseWins

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#13 : June 16, 2010, 01:19:13 PM

They are talking about it on 1010 now





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DefenseWins

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#14 : June 16, 2010, 01:20:47 PM

Shawn King just pointed out that D Joseph, Trueblood, and Penn will be unrestricted fa's next year. -Great. I can just imagine us scrapping together the money to underpay 1 of the three at best.. ugh






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