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Should the Vikings consider Donald Penn?

Should the Vikings consider Donald Penn?

Isaiah J Downing-USA Today Sports

By: Preet Shah
March 17th, 2019

With the first phase of Free Agency coming to a close along with the new league year starting many former starters have found themselves victims of  “cap casualties” and are now newly unemployed. One player who fits that description is former Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Donald Penn. Penn was released from the Raiders after an abysmal season that started off with him shifting to right tackle for the Raiders to start their first-round pick Kolton Miller at left tackle. This shift proved to be absolutely horrible and resulted in Penn, a three-time Pro-Bowler, being given a 47.0 PFF grade and a groin injury which ended his season only 4 games in, along with the Raiders signing Trent Brown to an enormous 4-year, 66 million dollar contract. With the acquisition of Brown, Penn was left the odd man out in Oakland and he was subsequently released clearing up 5.45 million dollars in cap space. With the Vikings in dire need for an offensive lineman the question must be asked, should the Vikings pursue Donald Penn? I mean he is a former Viking, albeit he was cut before he could play a regular season in the purple and gold. Let’s take a look into whether the Vikings should consider Penn and how he could potentially fit into the Offensive line.

Though much was made of his poor showing during last season it is important to remember that Penn switched from his natural position on the left side to the right side. When Penn was playing on the left side of the line he was playing at a high standard including the 2017 season where he was the second best-graded run blocker and a pro-bowler, though he was unable to participate due to foot surgery. I personally feel that Penn has a something left to offer to needy Vikings offensive line.

The Vikings have recently come into a bit of money with the Everson Griffen restructuring his deal and taking less, so the potential of signing other free agents wouldn’t be as big of a problem as it previously was. A potential concern would be with health and seeing if after missing 12 games weather Penn is “game ready” or not.  The final concern would be how Penn at his advanced age of 35 would be able to fit into the Kubiak-Stefanski zone blocking scheme.

One question posed by the potential signing would be how the Vikings offensive line starting unit would look in the new season. One idea that has already been kicked around is moving Riley Reiff to guard, much akin to the move that Mike Remmers underwent this year. Though we are acknowledging that Rieff and Remmers are two completely separate players, it’s tough to see Vikings fans loving that idea too much. IF the Vikings sign Donald Penn it will be interesting to see who the odd man out is on the offensive line.

As always thank you for reading, and Skol Vikes.