Although Penn’s agent is currently negotiating with Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik to try to strike a long-term deal, Penn was adamant that he thinks it’s time for some contractual security.
“I’m not too fond of a tender,” Penn said. “I don’t think I deserve a tender. I started two years and I thought I’ve done a good job protecting the backside of my quarterbacks for those two years. I think I deserve a contract.
“I think if they do tender me and I get a chance at the free agent market next fall that I think there will be a little bit of trouble because I’ll be a hot commodity. But I’m going to let everything fall in place and hope that everything works out like it’s supposed to.”
Penn, 25, could make as much as a $2.792 million salary on a one-year tender if no deal can be worked out between now and Feb. 27, the start of free agency.
Of course, another team could submit an offer sheet and Tampa Bay would have the right of first refusal. If they let him depart, it would cost a first and a third-round pick at that level of restricted compensation.
“My agent and I talked about that,” Penn said. “We’re pretty confident that if they do tender me with an offer that another team would come get me. Like I said, the film doesn’t lie. The last two years, I’ve been the lowest-paid starting left tackle in the league. There are no complaints from me about that. I know I worked my way up from the bottom. I’m just going to keep working. I want to be one of the best when it’s all said and done.
“I’m just being patient. I’ve done everything I can do. It’s in Tampa Bay’s hands and my agent’s hands. I was patient in waiting to become a starter and now I feel like I have earned everything I deserve. I love playing in Tampa and I know that Mark and Raheem Morris know that I want to stay here. We’ll see how it plays out.