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Donald Penn Deserves to be Another Multi Million Dollar Man

One of the Raiders top rated players didn’t show up to camp, and no one can blame him. Reports came out that Donald Penn missed reporting for training camp due to a contract hold-out. For what this man contributes to this offense and the team, money should flow easily.

Currently, Penn is in the top 10 of the NFL’s left tackles, but the money he earns puts him at #23 on the list. Is this fitting for a man who allowed one sack last year? You might say, “yeah, but it was a big one.” But what lineman doesn’t give up a sack? Not many. In fact,  most of them do. The outcome is never predetermined, so stating that his one miss caused an injury that devastating is absurd.

The same day that the fateful blow was dealt to Carr, Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota went down with a similar injury after getting sacked from behind by Jacksonville DT Sheldon Day. According to Titans RB DeMarco Murray, the whole offense failed Mariota that day. That was one of 23 sacks that Mariota received in 2016. Compared to Oakland’s league-low total of 16 sacks allowed on Derek Carr, 18 in total, any reasonable person would deduct that those are the men that deserve the money.

The Oakland Raiders play in one of the toughest divisions in football, as respects the defensive threats that they face twice every year. Donald Penn protects Derek Carr from these guys, just to name a few.

  • Von Miller
  • Shane Ray
  • Joey Bosa
  • Melvin Ingram
  • Dee Ford
  • Justin Houston
  • Tamba Hali

In total, these men logged 57.5 sacks in 2016. If even just a third of those sacks are dealt from the left side of the qb and divided into those two match-ups per year, that’s an average of 2.4 sacks that Donald Penn could have potentially defended against in the regular season. That means that if he wasn’t there, the sack total could have been potentially devastating. This is of course some crazy math based on averages, but the intent is clear. On top of that, he’s only missed 1 game in his 10 season tenure in the league. There aren’t many men in the league who play that many snaps anymore.

Even though Penn was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the #7 offensive lineman in the league in December 2016, he is the 23rd highest paid left tackle in the league. That’s just tackles, not all linemen. To put that into perspective, Dallas Cowboys’ Pro-Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith gave up two sacks but is the 4th highest paid left tackle in the league at $12 million. What? Seems a little off.

I’m not a big fan of athletes earning millions upon millions of dollars a year. In fact, I think that’s one of the biggest things that has ruined sports. But if Oakland saw fit to make their QB the highest paid player in NFL history, where’s the money for the men who protect him?

 

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