Donald Penn has failed to make most of the weight inventives in his contract, according to Mark Cook of Pewter Report. This didn't seem like a big deal to me, but NFL.com picked it up, so here we are. The fact that Donald Penn is fat should surprise no one who has watched the big man play over the past years. In fact, the fact that any offensive lineman is fat should surprise no one ever.
Still, Penn's weight was a legitimate concern for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mark Dominik told reporters during the 2010 offseason that he struggled giving Penn a big extension because of his weight issues. The final contract contains weight clauses, which Penn is failing to regularly meet. He's costing himself money, which is a shame for him but not a particular concern for me or the Bucs.
What's more concerning is the way in which it affects his play. Penn played very well in 2010 but his play has steadily regressed, although I wouldn't call him a liability. Still, the left tackle is 30 years old, appears to be regressing and the Buccaneers can save some $7 million against the cap by releasing him next year. He's in no danger of losing his job this year, if only because the Bucs have no one who could fill his shoes.
Penn is reportedly in the best shape of his life. Phrases like that are generally meaningless, but you never know. Maybe this time it isn't, Donald Penn will make some more money and play significantly better. With none of his remaining salaries guaranteed, he will need to play well to keep his job beyond 2013.
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