Penn Squawking Solidifies Okung Chatter

April 15th, 2010

Joe’s friend Jason La Canfora, of the NFL Network, had a recent item on his blog that hinted the Bucs may trade stud offensive left tackle Donald Penn.

Penn is a restricted free agent and tendered to a first- and third-round pick. Penn has been in a contract dispute with the Bucs for some months and La Canfora has learned that Penn may either sit out or force the Bucs to trade him before next week’s draft.

Penn has performed at a Pro Bowl level at times during his career, and though he’s seeking greater consistency, he would have received abundant interest from other teams had he been granted a first-round tender. The Bucs know this and, smartly, are trying to protect their asset. But like the Brandon Marshall case, at some point, a team either must provide a fair-market, long-term deal to top young talent or try to get what it can in a trade.

There had been some reports linking the Bucs to Oklahoma State left tackle Russell Okung with the No. 3 overall draft pick, but barring them dealing Penn, that seems unlikely.

Penn’s weight ballooned to around 370 pounds at the end of last season, but he has altered his diet and revamped his lifestyle and is down to about 335 pounds. He’s working with a nutritionalist, and his meals come from a company that specializes in healthy content. Penn also is working with a sports psychologist, Dr. Michael Zervais, and a personal trainer.

This disturbs Joe a great deal. Joe has noted on more than a few occasions that Penn is arguably the Bucs best player. He totally locked down some of the NFL’s best defensive ends last year. If there is one area where a high draft pick is not needed, it’s the offensive line.

If Penn forces the Bucs to trade him and, in fact, the Bucs do draft Okung, as Anwar Richardson of the Tampa Tribune has suggested, with the third overall pick, Joe can pretty much predict a positively horrid season in 2010. Because that means the defensive line and wide receiver positions, woefully inept, will not get the studs they need thanks to Penn’s bitterness.

Joe has no issue with Penn. He deserves to be paid among the elite offensive tackles in the game. The Bucs don’t need to further paint themselves into a corner by pissing off their best player by nickel-and-diming the guy.

21 Responses to “Penn Squawking Solidifies Okung Chatter”

  1. bucfanjeff Says:

    If this mess forces us to draft Okung and not select Suh\McCoy, it will definitely show the Glazers are about money. F@#K…you can’t draft EVERY position in one year. Good grief.

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    ..and I’ll be SO pissed at Penn if he pulls that sh!t.

  3. Joe Says:


    Penn is one of the best left tackles in the game. If he is not compensated as such, Joe can’t blame him for taking this dispute to the next level.

  4. Louie Says:

    @bucfanjeff, if your employer treated you like that would you hang around???

    Let’s face it, both Penn and Ruud are gone. The Glazerhouses have to pay them and that’s not going to happen. It’s just a matter of when (within the next week or after next season) and how (trade or free agency next year).

  5. gruss222 Says:

    As probably most have figured out by now, I can find reasoning and rational in the majority of moves that our Bucs make. Call it my Homer-ism I guess.

    However, the Bucs need to get off their tight-azz wallets and pay this man. He has anchored the most important side of our O-line and has proven to be worth the money.

    GET IT DONE Dom!

  6. Kirk Says:

    What I don’t understand, is the Bucs have a premiere left tackle in Donald Penn. What reason could they give for not signing this guy to a workable contract? I understand their fear (or cheap) stance on free agency, but this guy has performed and done very well. What are these guys thinking?

  7. Troxell8t8 Says:

    I believe Penn is doing all he can right now to show how committed he is to his job. Does he want to be paid? Absolutely, I don’t see him sitting out. Can he sit out OTAs? Sure. Remember all the chatter last year was how Penn put on a lot of weight and Bucs mgmt didn’t feel he wasn’t as committed as he could be. He’ll be there at training camp. I believe all the Okung talk is a smokescreen to draw up potential interest in a trade if the Bucs can’t get Suh at #3.

  8. bucfanjeff Says:

    @Joe – I agree he’s one of the best and should get paid.
    @Louie – no I wouldn’t.

    I guess what I’m pissed about most is the possible hand forcing of us to take an OT rather than a so desperately needed DT. Of course, if Penn isn’t going to be here, then I guess OT becomes a glaring hole as well.

    The bottom line is this is all the Bucs fault – they have put themselves in this boat. It still irks the shiznit out of me.

  9. Nick Says:


  10. TpaBayFlyFisher Says:

    This would be yet another reason to go fishing on Sunday’s this fall………….

  11. Dave Says:

    I think Penn gets a deal. he is worth 7-8 million a year. He is a very good LT. taking one in the top half of the first round is going to cost you that much, so might as well go with Penn as far as the finances are concerned.

    Of course, the other option is they trade him to, say Dallas, and get Dallas’ first round pick.
    They still get their DT and they take a OT as well. They could at that point take Okung and take Price at DT if they feel he isn’t much below McCoy. Of course if Suh is there, then they have to go Suh.

    When you analyze it, if they were to get a 1st rounder for Penn prior to the draft, it really opens up alot of possibilities for them on draft day.

    It does make them slightly worse on the line, but it is all part of building and they weren’t going to the playoffs next year anyway.

  12. Eric Says:

    Whether Penn is one of the premier left tackles is open to debate.

    The fact that this team needs his services isn’t. Training even a very talented rookie for that position is dangerous.

    That is also the kind of distraction which would not be at all helpful for training camp. I recall the Paul Gruber fiasco when he was going to be traded to Oakland, then was not.

    But, I am smelling horrid for 2010 independently of these concerns. At some point you really can’t get any worse.

  13. Dave Says:

    For those of you screaming “PAY HIM” I do agree BUT I understand the hesitation.

    Penn was bitching about a contract 2 years ago when he hadn’t even proved himslef and has been bitching ever since. He has held out of camp and ballooned up to 370 LBS just last year!

    He basically does not show the “team” spirit and the dedication to excell all the time. The worry is, once he gets the contract, say hello to mediocrity and 400LBS!

  14. TJ TIllmans Says:

    I absoultey agree with Penn how they jump to to pay Clayton who has done nothing but refuse to pay Penn. The moves Domminick make so much sence?????? ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. acharlot5 Says:

    can we start a GET THE GLAZERS OUT OF TAMPA movement already!! our team will continue to underacheive if we dont have owners who will pay our good players and spend money to get ones that will help our team. Stop blaming Dominik And Raheem its the Glazers who are at fault. You just dont go against what ur boss tells u to do if you want to keep your job.

  16. Eric S Says:

    I really would hate it if the Bucs chose Okung and traded Penn. That would be basically creating one hole that wasn’t there and then having to fill it. Penn is a good LT. I wouldn’t call him a premier LT however. There is no way you can put him up there with the Ryan Clady and Jake Long of the world. Pay him a reasonable rate and be done with it. I really would hate it if this becomes a distraction.

  17. Finerdetailz Says:

    Not suprising. I think Dominiks only motivation is make every position weaker that way every draft choice will be considered an upgrade given him the assumtion he had a succesful draft. This guy is the biggest moron the Bucs have ever employed. What a f****** joke. And the bigger idiot is (Finerdetailz: Testing Joe is a lost cause man. — Joe).

  18. Finerdetailz Says:

    The more I think about it. I’m sure now the Bucs are going to trade out of the number 3 spot. By weakening ever position Dominik can fall back anywhere and whatever position is drafted will be an upgrade to what we have.

  19. pokerface Says:

    The only thing i can come up with is they want to leave all option open if both DT are gone we can still draft Okung or use this to trade down if another team is intrested in Okung. So in the Buce defense ( i cannt believe I am syaing this) it makes since not to sign Penn to long term contract until after the draft. Remember the draft about not showing your hand to early

  20. JimBuc Says:

    Why would the Glazers or any owner pay a big contract to a player now?

  21. mlloye Says:

    What ever happened to “Honoring” your (word) contract. No team is going to allow a player to hold them hostage, no matter how good he is. As deep as this draft is, I would even take a 2nd and a (3rd or 4th) round pick for Penn. Dont get me wrong, I would like to see them keep Penn and Ruud, and I think that they could get their new contracts at the end of this season. The Glaziers are going to sit out one more year to help make up some money but than I see them coming out next season and putting it out there. If we are rebuilding then I say get as many picks (for this draft) as possible, so if we can get 2 picks for Penn, Ruud, or who ever, take it.