According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the New York Giants will host free agent offensive tackle Donald Penn, as the Giants try to shore up the right side of their offensive line. They recently had free agent tackle Russell Okung in for a visit as well.
Penn, who turns 33 in April, has been in the NFL since 2006 when the Minnesota Vikings signed him as an undrafted free agent out Utah State. Penn didn’t last long in Minnesota and was released that same year, but eventually was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He would spend the next nine years with the Bucs where he was selected to his only Pro Bowl in 2011 before he was released by Tampa in 2014. Penn wasn’t a free agent for long, as the Oakland Raiders signed him to a two-year contract just days after his release.
After spending the last two seasons with the Raiders, Penn has stated several times that he’d like to stay in Oakland.
“I’ve been open about my plan, and my plan is to be a Raider,” Penn said last week. “We’re trying to figure out if the feeling is mutual. They tell me it is… We’ll see what’s going to happen. Only time will tell.
“The good thing for me is that I am (receiving) interest from other teams. That’s a positive, but the Raiders still have first (rights). We’re waiting on them.”
Rapoport added that even though both Penn and the Raiders would like to come to an agreement, they’re currently in a stalemate. The breakdown in negotiations could have something to do with the fact that the Raiders signed free agent guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele to a five-year, $58 million deal.
The Giants still have a couple of spots on their offensive line that they would like to fill, particularly at right guard and right tackle. Given the fact that Penn is a left tackle, he’d more than likely be asked to move to right tackle if he were to sign with the G-Men, considering the Giants are committed to keeping Ereck Flowers, their first-round pick (ninth overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft, at left tackle.
While at the NFL Scouting Combine, the Giants general manager, Jerry Reese, was pretty adamant that the team sees Flowers as their left tackle. As of now, the Giants only have veteran guard John Jerry and tackle Marshall Newhouse, along with second year guard/tackle Bobby Hart to protect Eli Manning on his right side.
Reese would like to add a starting quality player to the right side of their offensive line and Penn is one the most durable tackles in the free agent market, having started all 16 games in a season since 2008.