If your one of the few fans prone to taking what former players say as gospel, then ex-Buc Warren Sapp nailed it this off-season, when he rated Bucs starting left tackle Donald Penn as a top five left tackle in the league. Through three dismal outings, the lone constant has been the play of Penn, who voiced his displeasure after a long term contract extension could not be reached with the team this off-season.
Penn, 26, has not allowed a sack this season. Shutting out both DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora through the teams 3 game losing skid to start the 2009 season.
While Penn, is upping his stock with each passing game, the reality of the situation bares watching. Considering there will be an uncapped year and per the CBA, under an un-capped year a player must have six accrued seasons in the NFL to become an unrestricted free agent, Penn at the conclusion of the 2009 season will only have four, which ultimately puts the Bucs in the drivers set in regards to Penn’s foreseeable future.
Penn is basically the property of the Bucs for 2010 and 2011 for peanuts, unless the Bucs are so inclined to come off of some of the stored cash that they say is for locking up the core players of the team.
Penn’s play has been one of the few positives this season, and might end up being one of the best bargins consdiering what other highly rated and some over rated left tackles are making these days.