ALAMEDA, Calif. – Donald Penn has happily watched teammates Michael Crabtree and Jamize Olawale receive contract extensions by the Oakland Raiders this week. There's reason to believe Penn could be next.
Like Crabtree, Penn is due to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Like Crabtree, the 32-year-old tackle is an integral part of the offense. It makes sense that the Raiders would want to lock up Penn early. He has been terrific in his two seasons with the team.
Still, Penn said he is focused on finishing the season strong.
“I want to retire a Raider, I think I’ve made that pretty clear,” Penn sad. “But I’m just focused on Denver [where the Raiders play on Sunday] and then the rest of the season. I want to finish strong and get some momentum going for next year.”
There is no rush for any deal. But I’d be pretty surprised if free agency starts and Penn is not secured with a deal that will keep him with the Raiders for the rest of his career.
Meanwhile, center Rodney Hudson (ankle) and linebacker Khalil Mack returned to practice fully. Hudson has missed three of the past four games, and barring a setback he should be able to play Sunday. Mack missed Wednesday’s practice, but he said Thursday he is definitely playing Sunday. Special-teamer Taiwan Jones (knee) also returned to practice after missing the past two games.
However, not all the Oakland injury news was good. Star rookie receiver Amari Cooper was limited by a foot injury Thursday. He was not on the injury list Wednesday.