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June 15, 2010 @ 9:35 am
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Penn Loses $100k - Won't Sign Tender, Will Attend FanFest

Written by Charlie
Campbell & Scott Reynolds
Charlie Campbell & Scott Reynolds

Campbell & Scott Reynolds

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Bucs LT Donald Penn refused to sign his one-year tender offer and as a result Tampa Bay will reduce the offer. The reduction drops the deal $100,000. If Penn, who will attend FanFest on Saturday, holds out of mandatory mini-camp the team can fine him $10,000 per day and $16,000 per missed day in training camp.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had their bluff called by left tackle Donald Penn. General manager Mark Dominik sent Penn and his agent Rocky Arceneaux a warning letter that they would reduce his salary if he did not sign his tender by the June 15 deadline. With the deadline passed, the team will go ahead and reduce Penn's salary for next season.

Pewter Report has learned that Penn will be at Bucs FanFest this Saturday but has no plans to meet with the team to discuss a possible contract extension. Penn's camp has not received any offer from the Buccaneers this year other than a one-year tender for a second straight year because he is a restricted free agent.

In 2010, Penn is slated to make $3.068 million on his one-year deal. Tampa Bay told Penn they would exercise an option to reduce the salary to 110 percent of what Penn made last season if he did not sign by June 15th. The Buccaneers said his salary will be reduced by $100,000.

"It's a small reduction. Our hope and our intentions are obviously that Donald (Penn) signs it before June 15," said Dominik last week. "I'm not asking Donald to show up to OTAs or do anything other than be out in California like he has been doing. He is working out. He has himself in good shape. We have been out there a couple times to talk to him. We just talked to Rocky [Arceneaux] this morning and so I'm happy and proud of what Donald has done. In the league, over 85 percent of the restricted free agents have signed their tender and I am sure that that number will continue to grow and I hope that Donald is one of them.

"I don't see in terms of gaining anything by waiting to sign your tender. And that's why we wanted to send a letter out today so he had the weekend to think about what he wants to do and make his decision for whatever he wants to do."

If Penn continues to hold out the team can fine him for missing mandatory practices like the mandatory mini-camp and training camp. The fines can be $10,000 for the mini-camp practices and $16,000 per day for missing training camp practices. Because Penn was tendered a contract the team is able to fine him for missing mandatory practices like the mandatory mini-camp or training camp practices due to the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.

Penn is the last restricted free agent that the Bucs have not been able to sign. Penn has started 44 straight games at left tackle for Tampa Bay after breaking into the lineup in 2007.

The Utah State product Penn has shut-out some of the NFL best pass rushers including the Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware in consecutive seasons, and the Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen in 2008.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Penn has lost 40 pounds this offseason, and is working out twice a day with trainers in California. In his 44 straight starts no Bucs quarterback has gone out with injury from a missed block by Penn. Tampa Bay is relying on Penn to protect the blind side of franchise quarterback Josh Freeman.

Penn is holding out with hopes of getting a long-term contract from Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers placed the highest level of compensation on Penn. Any team that would have signed Penn away would have had to give the Bucs a first and third-round pick, but the window to sign restricted free agents from other teams has closed.

The Bucs say that they would like to sign Penn to a long-term contract when the timing is right after a new collective bargainning deal is negotiated.


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