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March 11, 2014 @ 1:56 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/2 Votes

Buccaneers Release LT Penn, Save Over $7 Million

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Another long-time Bucs offensive lineman was released on Thursday as left tackle Donald Penn joined guard Davin Joesph as players cut as a cost-saving measure by new head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht. Penn joined the Buccaneers in 2006 and has started over 100 straight games since 2007.
The Buccaneers continued their cost-cutting roster purge by releasing veteran offensive tackle Donald Penn on Thursday. Tampa Bay moved quickly in free agency to sign Cincinnati offensive tackle Anthony Collins, who will presumably take over Penn's left position with the Bucs. The team could ultimately play Collins at right tackle and move Demar Dotson to left tackle if the versatile Dotson is deemed to be a better fit there.

Penn struggled mightily in 2013, surrendering the second-most sacks (11) by tackles, according to Pro Football Focus. Penn, who will turn 31 this year, gave up three sacks to St. Louis' Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn in the second half of the Bucs' loss to the Rams in Week 16.

The release of Penn frees up $6.75 million in salary and comes just days after the Bucs longest tenured player, Davin Joseph, was also released, giving Tampa Bay an additional $6 million in cap relief. Penn's $333,333 worth of prorated signing bonus money becomes dead salary cap space, which results in a net gain of $7,416,665 salary cap room for the Bucs.

Tampa Bay signed Penn to a six-year, $41.7-million contract extension on July 31, 2010. The new deal was filled with weight clause incentives as Penn has struggled with his weight throughout parts of his Bucs career, which has negatively impacted his play. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound Penn had two years remaining on his contract.

Penn joined the Buccaneers in 2006 when he was signed off of the Vikings practice squad after entering the league with Minnesota as an undrafted free agent. Penn entered the Bucs starting lineup early in the 2007 season and started every game after that, proving to be one of the most durable and dependable left tackles in the NFL.

During his Buccaneers career Penn started 108 consecutive games. His run of consecutive games at left tackle for Tampa Bay was the longest current streak among Buccaneers offensive linemen, and the third-longest among all active tackles in the NFL.

The former Utah State product was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate after the 2010 season, one that saw him surrender just 3.5 sacks in 16 starts.

Last modified on Thursday, 13 March 2014 13:43

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    Scu, I'm still laughing!
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    Psssssst, Owlykat. That's not the real Jon Gruden who is president of the FFCA. It's an alias. I know his real name. But it's a secret. He also lives in the desert with a horse (not that Horse) with no name.
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    I had hoped they would restructure and try Penn at Guard but maybe he would not agree. In any case I would rather they had acknowledged his former leadership and his long term service to the Bucs . I wish him well and thank him for his long service. Jon Gruden is right. We need a center and guard. I am pleased too that Jon follows and contributes to PR. We have money to pursue the Brown's All Pro Center. I would suggest Hallapio in the draft for a backup guard in the draft. He has a nasty streak, is a physical blocker but can pass block too, with a constant motor. I applaud the free agent selections so far. If we can't sign Tilman we need to get another corner that can play Tampa Two.
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    All I can say to Penn is bye.
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    It would be heaven on earth if we could now sign either an OG or a C, along with E. Sanders at the WR spot. Since the new coach and GM are doing such a fine job so far, I don't even care who the o-lineman is, I'm sure he will be a good fit. Yhat is why I am so happy thus far with FA, everyone we have signed seems to be a perfect fit for what we have needed! I'm sure that later on, we will also sign a return man. I was hoping for McCluster, but Ginn or Hester will do just fine as a back-up plan, and will fill the role just fine. Go BUCS, and lets get some more new starters and depth!!
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    Tampa, I don't care how much money it takes, sign Steve Smith!!!!
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    So many moves, my head is swirling! And I dont mean the waves on my head lol.
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    I like Penn and have met him several times but as "Horse" would say "he was out of shape" and it was catching up to him as it showed last yr. Collins is an upgrade to the position and now we should sign a center and a guard.
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    As I said during the Collins story, aside from last season I always though of Penn as a great pass protector. It always surprised me because he's a heavy guy, but I was never impressed with run blocking at the point of attack or in space. You would think a guy as heavy as him would be a great run blocker and poor pass protector. Again, good luck Penn and thanks for the nasty attitude and blind side protection you provided overall!
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    Very durable LT. Was a good Buc but someone had to be replaced after last year's fiasco. Penn got blamed for Quite a few sacks that were Glennons fault. No one beats father time, NFL means " not for long". Lot's of luck Donald in the future.
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    Very sad Penn is one of my favorite bucs of all time. Best of luck big fella!
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    Over 27% new starters this year now as compared to last year, as a minimum. I bet it ends up at about 40-50% new starters between FA and the draft.
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    I really liked Penn, but he had a horrible year last year, so I understand the move based on his salary, I hope he does well in the future, when he's not playing against the Bucs. As a Bucs fan at least it feels like we are trully winning free agancy and reshaping the team with a lot of new blood, which will help change the losing culture...I hope we win during the regular season as well!
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    i understand the move.... but donald penn is a good guy, a profesional, heart on his sleeve, hard working guy. i am sorry to see him go.............but, the bucs are on fire and are reshaping this team...i love it.... GO BUCS !! could tillma, sanders,or steve smith be next ? stay tuned...it's a cool ride, folks.it feels great to be a buc fan.
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