There are only a few days left before the beginning of mandatory training camp and there is still no signs of left tackle Donald Penn. In fact, he is not even in the state, he is in Southern California (home) where he hosted a charity football camp. The Bucs are not saying much about the situation, but all signs point to a very long and distracting hold out, not good news for young Josh Freeman and the offense.
The 27 year old left tackle has not been at any Bucs’s practice, only showing up to the Fan Fest to sign autographs. He has been offered a one year tender worth around $3.168 million, but has chosen not to accept the offer, hoping for a long term deal. The Bucs are not commenting on the situation at this time and neither is Penn, allowing his agent to do all of the work. The Bucs will big time problems if he continues his hold out. Demar Doton, a converted basketball player, will get the majority of snaps in camp, but if he plays poorly, more fans will be upset and continue to push the Bucs to sign Penn to help protect Freeman.
Many people are upset that he continues to hold out and it is understandable, he is a key player at one of the most important positions on the field. Freeman needs him, no questions about it. Without Penn and his great experience, Freeman will be looking over his shoulder all season long which could lead to injuries and set backs in his progression. The Bucs are thin on the offensive line and having one player, especially as important as Penn is, could spell disaster even in training camp. Penn is looking at the hold out from a business situation and he wants to be paid for his playing time (consider a possible lockout coming too, he wants to get paid now just in case). So when it comes down to it, it is a bad situation that is going no where fast. Hopefully the Bucs will finally make an offer and Penn will show up to camp in time, they need him and a lot of failure or success for this upcoming season weighs on his ultimate decision.