Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Joe Haeg nearly had an unforgettable touchdown catch in Super Bowl LV, but he didn’t quite have the hands.
Haeg was called upon as part of a trick play early in the second quarter of Sunday’s game, and Tom Brady found him in the end zone. Haeg simply could not haul in the catch, in part thanks to a late intervention by linebacker Anthony Hitchens.
Haeg wasn’t getting sympathy from all of his fellow offensive linemen. Donald Penn, who caught four touchdowns in his NFL career, felt that Haeg missed an easy one.
Given Penn’s touchdown record, he might just be right about this.
These plays aren’t easy. Even on the successful ones, the whole thing looks a little bit awkward and nervy, and that’s without a linebacker bearing down on you. Penn has the requisite experience, but not everyone else does.
The Washington Redskins are trying to make preparations in case things don’t work out with Trent Williams.
Williams, their left tackle, is in the middle of a feud with the team over their medical staff. His absence from training camp leaves Ereck Flowers as their starting left tackle, which is not a viable solution for a team that wants to win.
Accordingly, the Redskins are planning to meet with free agent Donald Penn, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports.
Penn, 36, only played in four games last season because of a groin injury. He was a cap casualty by the Oakland Raiders in March. Penn received some interest from the Texans earlier in the offseason but did not sign with them.
The Oakland Raiders have officially released offensive lineman Donald Penn.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the team and player mutually agreed to part ways after five seasons.
The writing had been on the wall for Penn for some time, even after he restructured his contract prior to the start of last season. He landed on injured reserve with a groin injury last season, and had been displaced from the left tackle role by rookie Kolton Miller. Add in the fact that Penn was not a player originally acquired Jon Gruden and it wasn’t all that difficult to see this conclusion coming.
The NFL offseason is expected to be a busy one, and some big names are likely to find new homes next season. There will inevitably be some players hit with the franchise tag or retained by their teams, but there are plenty of high-profile players who will be traded or allowed to leave their current teams for a new home elsewhere.
Here are ten big names who could be in a new uniform when the next NFL season kicks off.
10. Jordan Hicks, LB, Eagles
Drafted by Philly in 2015, Hicks’ rookie deal with the Eagles is expiring. He emerged as a force on the team’s defense last season, recording 91 tackles, 3 sacks, 6 quarterback hits and 5 passes defended in 12 games. Injuries are a question with Hicks – he suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in 2017 and missed a month this season due to a calf injury. Still, when he’s on the field, he makes things happen. He even has 7 interceptions in 43 games. He’s expected to test free agency.
Donald Penn and the Oakland Raiders have agreed to a restructured contract.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken describes the new deal as “team-friendly,” which likely means Penn is taking a pay cut for the upcoming season. In exchange, Gehlken says Penn is receiving more guaranteed money over the next two years.
Penn is recovering from Lisfranc surgery. The 35-year-old played well at left tackle last season. The Raiders also have first-round pick Kolton Miller playing left tackle. He may continue there until Penn is ready to practice.
Training camps have officially opened across the NFL, and that means at least 90 players on every single team are vying for a spot on the regular season 53-man roster. Some spots may be more set in stone than others, but everyone has a real chance to make an impression.
For rookies and other young players, that breeds excitement. On the opposite end of that spectrum, it could also mean the end for several aging players and long-time veterans.
Here’s a look at 15 NFL veterans who are on the bubble as training camps get underway.
15. Michael Johnson, DE, Cincinnati Bengals
Michael Johnson has meant a lot to the Bengals during his two stints with the team and was even their Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee in 2017. However, the NFL is a business, and at 31 years old with a diminishing snap count and a cap hit of over $6.1 million, his time in Cincinnati may be nearing an end. The Bengals have young players like Sam Hubbard, Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson who will push Johnson for playing time and likely render him expendable.
Oakland Raiders tackle Donald Penn is reportedly a suspect in a domestic violence incident.
According to TMZ, police were called to Penn’s Los Angeles home on Sunday night, though the lineman had already left by the time they arrived. Police were told that Penn had slapped his wife on the rear, and she objected, leading to an argument.
After the argument, Penn allegedly poured a drink over his wife’s head and grabbed her by the wrist. Police are investigating the claims.
Penn and his wife have had their share of issues in the past. Given the NFL’s stance against domestic violence, this could turn out to be a very important development depending on what police find. A league investigation seems likely to follow.
Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Donald Penn had a similar streak going to the noteworthy one Joe Thomas had snapped earlier in the season, and Penn’s incredible run is about to meet the same fate.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Penn will undergo foot surgery and miss the remainder of the 2017 season. The left tackle has been one of the most reliable players in league history, as he has appeared in every game since 2007.
Penn, who was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the Raiders, has never missed a game in his career. The 34-year-old’s absence will likely exacerbate the issues Oakland has had on the offensive side of the ball all year.
Between Thomas suffering a season-ending injury earlier in the year and Eli Manning being benched for a week, we have seen a lot of impressive streaks come to an end during the 2017 season.
Donald Penn had a harsh response to the rumor that he got Derek Carr injured on purpose.
Here is what the Oakland Raiders offensive lineman tweeted on Tuesday:
The rumor circulated after Miko Grimes, the wife of Tampa Bay Bucs cornerback Brent Grimes, went on “The Breakfast Club” and alleged that the Raiders’ line let Carr get injured because of a difference of opinion over the national anthem protests. She says Carr was a bible thumper and at odds with his teammates over the matter.
Grimes says Carr and his line were fighting before a Monday night game.
Grimes doesn’t seem to have her timeline or details correct because she’s talking about a Monday night game, which is something the Raiders haven’t had this season. Carr also got hurt against Denver in Week 4 on a fluky hit to his lower back, not some direct hit due to a missed block.
Between his holdout, his incident with a fan, and now this rumor, it’s been a rough season for Penn.
Tempers reportedly flared on the Raiders’ sideline between Michael Crabtree and Donald Penn with a member of the coaching staff needing to intervene.
Late in the second quarter of Thursday’s game between the Raiders and Chiefs, CBS’ Tracy Wolfson reported frustration boiled over that resulted in Crabtree and Penn pushing and shoving each other on the sideline. Wolfson added offensive line coach Mike Tice stepped in to restore order.
Oakland came into Thursday riding a four-game losing streak. At the time Wolfson was on air, the Raiders were trailing 20-14.