Don’t Underestimate Donald Penn

July 23rd, 2010

Joe laughs every time he hears fans say that Donald Penn will be in training camp or that Penn would never sit out part of the 2010 season.

Why, for some, is it so hard to believe Penn might have the stomach and desire to sit out?

First off, Penn should not be broke. He earned $2.8 million last year. And he couldn’t have eaten that much food.

Second, no fans, or even media, can say they know what makes Penn tick. Is he a gambler? Many people are. Today alone there will be tens of thousands combined at Derby Lane,  the Hard Rock casino and other wagering outlets in the Bay area putting their money on the line.

Penn might look at Demar Dotson and Josh Freeman and like his odds of squeezing the Bucs for a better contract by waiting to report. Maybe even waiting as long as Week 3 of the season to sign his $3 million+ tender.

If he sits out that long, he spares his body the risks and wear of training camp and preseason, and he forfeits roughly $600,000 in pay (before taxes).  The Bucs have a bye in Week 4, and perhaps Penn is giddy at the thought of earning $2.5 million for three months of work and a crack at unrestricted free agency.

Joe has no clue what Penn’s going to do. But Joe knows he wouldn’t bet a dime that Penn’s in training camp.

38 Responses to “Don’t Underestimate Donald Penn”

  1. topdoggie Says:

    That sucks the first three weeks of our schedual are our best chance of having a decent season.

  2. Not a Rocket Surgeon Says:

    Gandy, Adams and Jones are still FA’s…

    Who knows what Penn will do – but I’d bet that dime that Penn’s there… 😉

  3. eric Says:

    tick tick tick, Jimbuc’s “no chance he doesn’t sign” forthcoming.

  4. RahDomDaBest Says:

    “…the first three weeks of our schedual are our best chance of having a decent season.”


    What about the other 13 games? LOL. How could you categorize the Bucs as having a decnt season if they only beat the powder puff teams in the first 3 weeks anyway?

    And they won’t even do THAT!

  5. BamBamBuc Says:

    Not sure what he’ll do. All I can say is last year wasn’t the best year for him to show he wants a big contract. He’d been about average in pass blocking, but 2 years ago was much better at run blocking. Might have had something to do with switching to zone blocking then back to power man. If that’s what it was, he should be able to perform well enough this year to demand the big contract. In 2008, he gave up 8 sacks, 8 hits and 21 pressures according to ProFootballFocus. Now, those are not “official” stats, so it’s anybody’s guess how accurate they are. In 2009, he gave up 5 sacks, 9 hits and 32 pressures. He was also penalized more (11 times, accepted 8 times).

    I won’t base anything off of the rankings there, because it’s not official stats. I can only guess they base their run blocking rankings off of yards gained on rushes to the side of the lineman, but don’t know (which was much better for Penn in 08).

    I like the guy, I’d like him to get signed to a deal. I’m also not sold on him being a long term solution at the position and would like to see how he does this year. If he comes in this year and plays better than he did in 08, we need to get this guy locked up… if not, well, maybe we should let him test the FA market and see if we can get someone else.

  6. CalicoJack Says:’s Mike Lombardi calls Penn a blue-chip player:

    Pay him, or lose him…

  7. BamBamBuc Says:


    The first 3 weeks can set the tone for the rest of the season. Losing too many games early on will make the later divisional games that much more difficult to win. Starting off strong will be important to carrying forward any momentum the team may feel they had near the end of last season. Powder Puff teams or not, they are important to set the tone.

  8. Not a Rocket Surgeon Says:


    Lions and Seahawks do not have ‘blue chippers’ according to CJacks link.

    I’m not sold DP is a blue chipper. Play this season, well. Then – yes.

  9. sensiblefan Says:

    I’d still bet Penn makes it in before camp. He’s got 3 factors going against him:

    1) Rocket’s Surgeon’s Point on Free Agents. Any of those guys can come in a either take his spot or at least compete with him. If I’m Penn I want to compete against Dotson, not “the Hotel”

    2) Nobody wants to throw away 600k based on principle. He’s made the Org realize that he’s unhappy with his contract and wants/deserves to be paid. There’s no legit reason to hold out for any longer.

    3) Up to this point, Penn hasn’t missed anything deadly important. Missing camp is usually a recipe for disaster for the player and the Org. because the risk of injury is certain to increase because Penn won’t be in football shape.

    Lastly, had he signed his contract maybe he’d already be paid…just look at Elvis Dumervil:

    “Dumervil’s decision to sign his one-year, $3.168 million restricted tender last month and not withhold his services this offseason provided the goodwill that led to the Broncos giving him this deal.”

  10. sensiblefan Says:

    “I like the guy, I’d like him to get signed to a deal. I’m also not sold on him being a long term solution at the position and would like to see how he does this year. If he comes in this year and plays better than he did in 08, we need to get this guy locked up… if not, well, maybe we should let him test the FA market and see if we can get someone else.”

    Perfect. BamBam for future Bucs GM.

  11. DieHard Bob Says:

    To add to “Sensiblefan” – Penn also said that he loves the fans and the Bucs so he hopefully won’t want to let down his team mates and if he holds out and stumbles through the first few games back while trying to get back in playing shape and learn the new offence, he will just hurt his chances of getting a big contract in free agency due to a lack of good film on him and having a rep of being a holdout threat in the future.

  12. topdoggie Says:

    @ BamBam thanks, thats the point I thought others would grasp with out haveing to spell it out.
    @RahDom why are you going to even watch the games if you can’t at least hope.

  13. Louie the HATER! Says:

    Penn could wait and sign the day before the regular season and not lose a dime. Even if the Bucs sign a FA replacement (they won’t find an equal replacement at this point), it’s not going to bother Penn too much because he has value and the Bucs will want to get something for him if they go with someone else.

    At this point, I don’t see Penn showing up for camp. Why would he carry it this far if he wasn’t prepared to skip training camp?

    The big question is how far after that will he carry it? Will he wait until right before the season opener or will he carry it to the bye week? Only Penn knows. However, the Glazerhouse’s could make it a moot point by signing the guy to a long-term deal!

  14. sensiblefan Says:

    “At this point, I don’t see Penn showing up for camp. Why would he carry it this far if he wasn’t prepared to skip training camp?”

    Penn’s point has been made. He’s unhappy with his current contract. If he skips camp he risks a garnering a negative public and league perception: “Why isn’t Penn playing? He’d be making 3 million a year. Other LTs that have made Pro Bowls already signed their tenders. This guy is greedy.”

    Plus, missing camp increases his risk of injury due to lack of being in football shape. He’ll do the smart thing and come in on time.

    “However, the Glazerhouse’s could make it a moot point by signing the guy to a long-term deal!”

    Dom can’t do that at least until he signs his tender. He makes himself look like he caved into Penn’s demands otherwise. If he did that and I’m Ruud’s agent or Talib’s agent, I’m banging on Dom’s door for my player to get paid too.

  15. RahDomDaBest Says:

    Oh I’m gonna watch the games alright. I’m gonna watch Raheem Morris continue to make an embarassment of our team on Sundays.

    It’s actually comical… and then I’ll read all the excuses… which actually is more comical.

  16. eric Says:

    Looks like perhaps the “you draw more flies with honey” worked better for this guy:

    Interestingly, the Broncos owner is a heavy participant in the CBA negotiaions, but seems unimpeded by it in terms if signing RFA to long term deals.

  17. Patrick Says:

    They can play that whiner “it’s all Gruden’s fault” Clayton, but they can’t pay the guys who actually give this team a chance at winning football games!!

  18. JimBuc Says:

    Joe, no link to someone else’s article? This one is all Joe? No new information either? Just commentary on a controversial topic? Hmmm.

    Curious why you did not include Penn’s most recent comments?

  19. JimBuc Says:

    Eric, once you get past the ridiculousness of the comparison you are making (Penn=Dumervil . .. .LMAO)), the irony is that the Bucs have actually offered to pay Penn as much salary as Dumervil this year:

    “The compensation for 2010 remains the same, with Dumervil getting $3.168 million”


    Did you also see that Dumervil’s contract includes a “Next League Year” provision? Interesting.

  20. eric Says:

    Well Jimbuc, his new contract is worth 61 million.

    The bucs exposing their franchise QB by screwing around with the left tackle position is no laughing matter. At least not for Josh Freeman.

    The bottom line is the Broncos signed a player they view as important to a long term deal. I suppose they could have played the bucs game and forced the guy to play this year, using the CBA excuse, but chose a different route.

  21. sensiblefan Says:

    @ eric

    Would you agree that until/unless Penn signs his tender there’s no way the Bucs sign him to a long term deal?

  22. Lakeland Bob Says:

    Dumervil led the league in sacks last year.What did Penn do that’s even remotely comparable?They sucked last year with Penn and according to popular belief,they will suck this year with or without him.

  23. CalicoJack Says:


    Dumervil got a huge contract after about a month of signing his first RFA tender. Penn is on his second straight year of RFA…


    Can you link up that “Next League Year” provision? I’d like to read it…

  24. Louie the HATER! Says:

    @JimBuc: “Curious why you did not include Penn’s most recent comments?”

    Joe didn’t have to, you’ve posted it a couple times in your comments. I’m surprised you haven’t posted it again here. 🙂

    Penn is being smart, saying the right things to keep the fans on his side.

  25. sensiblefan Says:

    @ CalicoJack

    My original points still stand. If Dom signs Penn to a long term deal, he’s going to open up the flood gates of others, rightfully, asking for their extensions too.

    Don’t mistake my stance as being anti-Penn. I think he’s at top-16 player at a premium position and deserves to be paid like one. But he and countless players have been screwed by the unrest in CBA creating a disincentive for teams to sign RFAs to long-term deals…just look at Miles Austin. Nobody deserves to reap the fruits of his labor than him but he’s stuck in Dallas for another year.

  26. CalicoJack Says:

    Being as they would be rightfully opened… I’m all for the flood gates…

  27. Bucnjim Says:

    If I were a LT on a team that was 31st in rushing TD’s and just 23rd in total rushing offense then I would shut my mouth and report to camp. Why not go out and prove my value one more year then it wouldn’t make any difference what happened. The biggest problem with a hold out is out of sight out of mind. The NFL will only remember that Penn was on an offense that basically ranked last. Was he part of the problem or was he just on a bad team? Too much risk with not enough reward for him to continue to hold out. Penn took on some of the best pass rushers in the league last year and did well, but his run blocking ability still has a long way to go just to be considered good.

  28. Louie the HATER! Says:

    A talent like Penn won’t go “out of sight out of mind” — remember McCardell’s holdout? Not exactly forgotten. He ended up not going back to the Bucs, but the Bucs got value for him in the trade.

    This makes a case for signing the man:

  29. eric Says:

    Will Freeman survive the season with whoever plays left tackle if Penn does not?

    Bad enough he has no proven wideouts, and a crappy coaching staff, but now no decent left tackle too?

    Total disaster.

  30. Patrick Says:

    Any guys out there in free agency we could sign????? Just in case Penn doesn’t play? I think he’ll eventually show up, but you never know!

  31. JimBuc Says:

    Man, you guys are shaking like a leaf over nothing.

    CalicoJack — just saw it reported not actual povision. Here’s the story:

    “On the first day of the next league year, whenever it may start, $14 million in base salary becomes guaranteed for skill. At about that time, $6 million of it will be paid out as an advance”

  32. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    No one here knew who Donald Penn was when Dominik pulled him off the Vikings’ scrap heap. Now everyone is declaring that no one can replace him. I hope we re-sign Penn, but I love how the haters declare that we have no wideouts and no one to replace Penn. Just because a player isn’t on your fantasy football team, doesn’t mean that he can’t play.

  33. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Honestly, I do believe a holdout or two would speak volumes to the owners, however I also think back to Eric Rhett and the results his holdout got him. In his case, by encased Eric Rhett signed rookie card was rendered useless (not that I would ever sell anything from the Bucs).

    My concern is that the Bucs will make an example of Penn, and just replace him in the next draft.

  34. Bucnjim Says:

    Since when did Donald Penn become Paul Gruber! No one in the league considers him an elite LT except some of the people on this site. I don’t see him in the top 10 or even 15. One more year of shutting down rushers with improved run blocking skills may help his status, but for now he is still considered a decent tackle with potential.

  35. CalicoJack Says:

    Mike Lombardi of, someone who has been employer as a talent evaluator in the NFL, rated two Bucs as blue-chippers. Aqib Talib and Donald Penn…

  36. BucnJim Says:

    Notice the first and last numbers on this stat sheet. First is sacks; Last is sacks per play and see where he is ranked on this list.

    Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play

    LT Ryan Clady Broncos 0.5 16 632 39.5 0.0008
    LT Michael Roos Titans 1 16 465 29.1 0.0022
    LT Tra Thomas Eagles 2 16 629 39.3 0.0032
    LT Jake Long Dolphins 2.5 16 517 32.3 0.0048
    LT Jammal Brown Saints 3 15 649 40.6 0.0049
    LT Tony Ugoh Colts 3 12 599 37.4 0.0067
    LT Marcus McNeill Chargers 3 14 503 31.4 0.0068
    LT Jared Gaither Ravens 3 15 466 29.1 0.0069
    LT DBrickashaw Ferguson Jets 4 16 559 34.9 0.0072
    LT Chris Samuels Redskins 3 12 548 34.3 0.0073
    LT Jordan Gross Panthers 3 15 434 27.1 0.0074
    LT Branden Albert Chiefs 4.5 15 578 36.1 0.0083
    LT Joe Thomas Browns 4.5 16 512 32.0 0.0088
    LT Walter Jones Seahawks 3.5 12 510 31.9 0.0092
    LT Mike Gandy Cardinals 6.25 16 658 41.1 0.0095
    LT Todd Weiner Falcons 3 11 451 28.2 0.0097
    LT Max Starks Steelers 4 11 555 34.7 0.0105
    LT Bryant McKinnie Vikings 4 12 495 30.9 0.0108
    LT David Diehl Giants 6.5 16 519 32.4 0.0125
    LT Flozell Adams Cowboys 7.25 16 578 36.1 0.0125
    LT Matt Light Patriots 7.5 16 582 36.4 0.0129
    LT Khalif Barnes Jaguars 7.5 16 579 36.2 0.0130
    LT Chad Clifton Packers 7.5 15 575 35.9 0.0139
    LT Levi Brown Bengals 5.5 11 564 35.3 0.0142
    LT Donald Penn Buccaneers 8.5 16 594 37.1 0.0143
    LT Joe Staley 49ers 8.5 16 564 35.3 0.0151
    LT Jeff Backus Lions 9.25 16 561 35.1 0.0165
    LT John St. Clair Bears 9.75 16 557 34.8 0.0175

  37. RahDomDaBest Says:

    Where do the back-up LT’s on the Buc’s roster rank on that list?


  38. BucnJim Says:

    Now that’s WEAK!!!