As expected, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed the highest possible tender on starting left tackle Donald Penn, a former undrafted free agent that first joined the Bucs in 2006 and has started every game since Week 5 of the 2007 regular season.
Penn, 26, has started 44 of the 48 games he's played in since joining the Bucs in 2006. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Penn is a restricted free agent, but would have become an unrestricted free agent if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was executed between the NFLPA and NFL owners.
Agent Rocky Arceneaux met with Tampa Bay officials Friday morning in Indianapolis and said he is very displeased that the Bucs placed the highest restricted tender on the young left tackle for the second straight year.
Penn, who would have been among the more coveted players in free agency had the current CBA continued, is now looking at making millions less.
The high tender reduces the likelihood of Penn getting an offer sheet from another club and the sides have been unable to agree on a long-term deal.
Source: NFL.com - Jason La Canfora
PewterReport.com's Take: Everyone would agree that Donald Penn is worthy of a new, long-term, lucrative contract, but the Bucs have every right to place the tender on Penn, who is a restricted free agent. These are the rules NFL owners and the NFLPA agreed upon in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the Bucs are simply utilizing the tools they have at their disposal. If another team is willing to pay Penn and trade for him, it will force the Bucs to either match the long-term contract offer or part ways with him in exchange for the draft picks. Don't be surprised if Penn skips out on all voluntary workouts to show his displeasure with Tampa Bay regarding this matter. That certainly won't be ideal as the Bucs offensive line needs to work on continuity in order to improve its running game and protect quarterback Josh Freeman.