Donald Penn has signed a contract that resulted in a pay cut after it was restructured according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, and from an unnamed source. Mr. Penn, one of the NFL’s best left tackles, is rehabbing from Lisfranc surgery. Meanwhile, UCLA’s 6′ 9” Kolton Miller, the Raiders 2018 NFL Draft 1st Round Pick, took over for Penn as starter against the Detroit Lions, and performed extremely well.
Miller had the key block on Raiders Running Back Marshawn Lynch’s 60-yard touchdown run (off a play design this blogger originally gave to Jon Gruden at the 2018 NFL Annual Meeting), only to have it called back. (And either because the referee thought Miller was holding or the ref didn’t want Lynch to score a touchdown because of his national anthem protest, and so made up the report of a holding call.) That was the only negative spot on Miller’s otherwise incredible first NFL game. That had to movitate Penn to get into camp and get signed.
Before Miller’s game, the talk was that Penn may be traded if he refused a cut in pay. The Raiders could have avoided this situation last year if Raiders General Manager Reggie MacKenzie had acted upon my suggestion (given at the 2017 NFL Annual Meeting) that he take Alabama Offensive Tackle Cam Robinson with the 24th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Instead, the Raiders selected Ohio State’s Safety Gareon Conley – Robinson wound up starting for the Jacksonville Jaquars and earning NFL All-Pro and Pro Bowl spots his rookie year.
(At the 2018 NFL Annual Meeting, I told Reggie to take SMU Wide Receiver Cortland Sutton. He’s burning up the Denver Broncos Training Camp. I predict Sutton wll be an All Pro this year whenver the Broncos figure out how to design an offensive game plan. And MacKenzie should draft Bowie State QB Amir “Showtime” Hall in the 2019 NFL Draft. In my view, Amir is the second coming of Tennessee State’s record-setting Joe ‘747’ Adams – but without the stupid mentally ill racism Adams had to deal with in 1981 when he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. Amir Hall quided the Bowie State Bulldogs to a 9-2 regular season record and the NCAA Division II playoffs. Hall threw for 3,519 yards, 41 touchdowns, and completed 65 percent of his passes and just four interceptions in 381 attempts, Hall helmed the nation’s top Division II offense, scoring 294 points. Amir Hall should wear Silver and Black.)
This year, MacKenzie and Gruden and Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable were determined to build a top-flight offensive line with depth. Prior to his Lisfranc surgery, Penn had not missed a regular season NFL game in his 12 year career. Now, he’s coming back. If Penn’s return allows him to retake the Left Tackle position, and considering the performance of Miller, and second year Offensive Tackle David Sharpe, among others, the Raiders could have one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, if not the best one.
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