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Penn re-signs with Raiders, ‘ready to look forward to winning’

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Donald Penn is happy to be back with the Raiders and he and offensive line coach Mike Tice are excited for what that group can do. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Donald Penn is happy to be back with the Raiders and he and offensive line coach Mike Tice are excited for what that group can do. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The Raiders and Donald Penn were both always in each other’s plans — just on different pathways.

Those paths finally merged and led to Penn agreeing to a deal to remain in Oakland. The deal was made late Tuesday night and formally announced by the team on Thursday.

The return of the team’s starting left tackle, reportedly on a two-year, $14 million deal, stabilizes an offensive line that added the top available free agent in Kelechi Osemele and now enters the discussion among the league’s top units.

“We’ve got things rolling now,” Penn said Thursday on a conference call. “We’re on the up and up. I’m glad I’m going to be a part of it. We’re building something real nice right now and everything’s going the right way now and it feels good. I can’t wait to get back to work.”

In bringing back Penn, who started all 32 games the past two seasons at left tackle, the Raiders are able to keep Osemele at guard, his premiere position.

“When we see him on tape, we see him as an elite guard,” Raiders offensive line coach Mike Tice said Thursday at Stanford’s pro day. “I don’t see that same thing at left tackle. We had to be very thankful when we got Donald back.”

Osemele is expected to play left guard, with Gabe Jackson shifting over to right guard. Austin Howard and Menelik Watson, who is rehabbing after missing all year with a ruptured Achilles, will battle at right tackle.

“I think we’re all pleased in the building,” Tice said. “We’ve added some talent. Now we just don’t want to screw it up.”

Penn long-maintained that he wanted to remain with the Raiders, his childhood team that he saw a rising franchise ready to be a contender.

It came down to the Raiders having a price they were willing to pay against Penn wanting a bump after making what he perceived to be a discounted salary the past two years.

Penn scheduled a visit this week with the New York Giants and said he had his bags packed and was prepared to fly to New York on a 7:30 a.m. flight Wednesday morning before he and the Raiders came to terms.

“I was going,” Penn said. “I felt like I wanted to see what New York had to offer and what they were going to talk about and see what their plan was. Luckily the Raiders didn’t give me a chance to go do that.”

Penn said he’s excited to work with Osemele and thinks the addition of the 6-foot-5, 330-pound bruiser can help improve Oakland’s run game. The Raiders were 28th in the league in rushing last year and tied for 21st at 3.9 yards per carry.

“I think he’ll help us with the consistency of our running game and open a lot of things up. We won’t have to be so one-dimensional,” Penn said. “The run game was good last year but the thing about it was we weren’t consistent. He’s a great run blocker. I think he’s going to help bring some consistency to the run game and that’s what we need.”

Tice raved about Osemele’s ability to finish off his blocks.

“ He’s as good a finisher as I’ve seen on tape in the league,” Tice said. “We need some of that. We need some attitude in our room. We need somebody that’s going to set a tone for us. I think he’ll bring that to the table. Plus, he can recover. He’s athletic, he plays on his feet, he’s not on the ground. There’s a lot to like and he’s smart.”

Penn expects the offensive line to the emotional leaders for a Raiders team that will enter next season with high playoff expectations.

“There’s a lot of excitement in the air and we are going to want to be the focal point of the offense as leaders and the team as leaders,” Penn said.

Penn wasn’t shy while he was unsigned about admitted the emotional nature of free agency was a struggle for him. That’s something he’s excited to be past now.

“It was tough, but you know what, I’m very blessed and I’m happy it’s all over and said and done,” Penn said, “and I’m ready to look forward to winning. “

* The Cowboys were reported to have a visit scheduled for Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa. He’s a restricted free agent, so the Raiders have the right to match any offer, but he was given an original round tender and so Oakland wouldn’t receive compensation if he left since he was undrafted.

Mayowa played in 12 games last season, missing the first four with a knee injury, and 28 games over the past two years. He has two career sacks but came on as an emerging player late in the season for the Raiders.

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • Kenny Stapler

    You create your own luck. Young teams can still win games and we have a vet at every level except safety (unless you count Allen who looked good in Pre-season). I think we’re that good. Playoffs or bust this year. This team is built to win now and dominate going forward.

  • Problem is ,we didn’t do much better

  • timetojam

    Chargers steal one? ’cause we’re gonna sweep the donks and chefs

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Trading up that high almost never works out tho. RGKnee, The Hobbit, Dion Jordan, Julio Jones (good player but crippled the franchise).

  • Kenny Stapler

    Sweep KC and SD? Or DEN and SD?

  • Kenny Stapler

    so you think we’ll go 6-0 in our division yet end up 10-6?

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    I know. But that’s the part that doesn’t make me happy. So I try to pretend that didn’t happen. At least we didn’t brag about it.

  • Anyone got a time machine handy

  • Kenny Stapler

    Let’s take another look at this….

    2016 Oakland Raiders Opponents

    Home: Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Houston (at Mexico City), Indianapolis, Atlanta, Carolina, Buffalo

    Away: Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Jacksonville, Tennessee, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Baltimore

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Sweep SD, split w Denver and KC. There’s your realistic 4-2

  • Kenny Stapler

    yeah, that’s exactly what I had in mind.

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Sheldon Richardson.

  • timetojam

    No, i do think we’ll lose one, to the chargers. Just a hunch. But I think we’ll have an attitude and beat the big 2 out of spite. Injuries and/or inconsistent play will prevent us from a full 12-win season.

    Wild guesses at this point, of course

  • Yep, that’s the one

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Yep
    Williams is a 4-3,
    Ellis, Autry, Williams are our best DLine in a 3-4.

    Mack is our best DLineman and linebacker, but I don’t want the coaches expending his energy in a 3-4 all the time as a DE on running plays.

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    13-3

  • r8eray

    5-1 and win the Division

  • Dave

    Granted I’m six shots in, all I see is Ws

  • timetojam

    That is f’in sweet

  • Kenny Stapler
  • Kenny Stapler

    W’s, W’s EVERYWHERE!!!

  • Kenny Stapler

    I like your attitude.

  • timetojam

    lol. at least we’re on the same “page”….or, are we….

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Julio Jones hasn’t crimped Atlanta.
    Great player.
    He’s their best player.
    They should not have given up so much for him.

  • J Hill

    11-5

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    KC and Denver

  • Kenny Stapler

    nah man we are. as long as we end up in the playoffs, I’m happy.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    We go 6-0
    We go 13-3

  • johnny

    Watson will probably be our starting RT and DJ gets one more chance. So there’s that.

  • Dave

    Been a long time since I actually believed it

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    I don’t think it will happen. But when you look at that schedule I see two losses to KC and Denver respectively and Carolina. Every other game is winnable. I’m sure we blow one or two, but even that puts is at 11-5 if we can get defense and offense to play consistently well. That was the problem last year. 8 good games from the offense. And 8 good games from the defense. Usually not at the same time.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    They must not have gotten drafted by St. Louis

  • Kenny Stapler

    some still don’t. let it wash over you. what are you drinking?

  • RaidO

    Anything less than the playoffs this season is a failure.

  • Kenny Stapler

    right. that mexico game bothers me.

  • inonewordraider

    Our division is tough, texans car are playoff teams, if luck turns it around indys tough jags should be much improved balt might be much improved. Buff has no qb, tenn still long ways away new orleans is a mediocre team at best tampa same. Only a carr injury should keep us out of the playoffs

  • timetojam

    New. post

  • RaidO

    After they get a safety or 2 first

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    6-2 on the road
    7-1 at home

  • Kenny Stapler

    great. you just jinxed the man.lol

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Idk. Huge Raider fanbase down there. I know the Texans r closer but I think that’ll be a home crowd for us. And both teams have to breath that crap. I give our conditioning staff the edge.

  • timetojam

    Really no excuses. We have starters, we have decent depth, and 2nd year for all of the coaches.
    Dominance may be a year off, but contention is now

  • Kenny Stapler

    we’ll have the crowd for sure. but we haven’t done well in these international games. what’s our record in Mexico? lol I know we’ve played DAL there before. Remind me, was that preseason?

  • Dave

    New Amsterdam citreon, cheap and good

  • rifflicks

    he’s bringing his banjo

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    I think it was preseason last time we played there. And it was a long time ago. Jano might be the only guy left from that game. So not much of a precedent. We did get crushed in London, DA didn’t make it off the plane w his job.

  • Dave

    Not do good in US either, lol

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    You’re bringin your pretty mouth

  • Skewlboy

    NFL: Ravens CB Tray Walker in critical condition after motorcycle accident; “This is devastating news” – John Harbaugh -via ESPN http://es.pn/app

  • Yep , not much