Why Oakland Raiders Should Extend Donald Penn’s Contract

The Oakland Raiders should evaluate left tackle Donald Penn’s contract season with a wider scope as opposed to a snapshot approach.

Penn, 32, protects quarterback Derek Carr’s blind side, a crucial responsibility for any offensive lineman who is warding off prolific pass-rushers.

At times, Penn seemed outmatched against some of the league’s best defensive ends, as noted by SilverandBlackPride.com writer Levi Damien:

Even the best players have a few poor performances against some of the league's best athletes.

Damien's tweets highlight unflattering snapshots, but let’s examine the entire body of work. Penn experienced a few subpar weeks, but he still grades out as one of the best offensive tackles in the league, per Pro Football Focus: 

Why would the Raiders allow a top-15 offensive tackle to walk in the offseason? Top-tier pass-blockers are coveted in a league that places a premium on quarterback play, where protection becomes paramount. 

Penn doesn’t possess high-end potential at this stage in his career, but he’s worth another two-year deal while another young offensive tackle learns the ropes behind him on the depth chart.



In a physical game where injuries factor into a team’s success, talent evaluators often overlook availability.

Penn has started in 137 consecutive games at left tackle, dating back to his tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He took over former offensive tackle Luke Petitgout’s position and became a mainstay within the Buccaneers offensive line. He carried that streak over to Oakland. 

Penn’s streak speaks to his ability to perform adequately at the position—availability cannot save a poor performer’s position in the starting lineup.



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