Your Bucs questions answered here
We had a good live chat with you on Wednesday, which you can still access on our site.
But some people were unable to get their questions answered having delivered them before or after the chat. So, I'll address a couple of the more interesting ones here in the coming days. I'll also consider those sent by email or through Twitter.
"Dugg" asked the following:
With all the talk about getting Donald Penn signed, there seems to be one bigger issue that’s not getting discussed in the big picture of the team. How’s it going to go over, if the Bucs give in to Penn and get him a long term deal, to the other three players who signed their tenders?
It's a fair question, one I've sort of addressed before. But here's my take on the matter. The other restricted free agents Dugg is referring to presumably are Barrett Ruud, Cadillac Williams and Maurice Stovall. I'll start by saying that I don't think Williams nor Stovall could argue that they aren't getting their market value. Williams will make $2.303 million coming off a mildly successful season and Stovall will earn $1.176 million despite being only a part-time starter in 2009. It seems to me that they wouldn't have much right to take insult at Penn, a key cog to the success of the team, getting a long-awaited contract extension.
Which brings us to Ruud. Yes, he is a very valuable member of the defense. Perhaps, its most valuable. But there's a slight difference in the two situations. Penn was a restricted free agent last summer, too, and the Bucs did not sign him to a long-term extension. The same situation is repeating itself this time around, and Penn -- thus far -- is stuck with playing for the RFA tender again. Agree or disagree, it's Penn's argument that he's been waiting for two years and it's time to get a deal done.
The other issue is something I've mentioned before: Ruud had every opportunity to pursue the matter by essentially holding out as Penn has. Instead, he opted to sign his contract and just hold out hope that he'd get a big pay day next offseason -- here or elsewhere. Neither guy is right or wrong. They just chose to handle things differently. Both are within their rights and have acted in a fashion they feel is their best interest.
This is just my opinion on this matter, and others might see things differently. There are reasons you could make a case against paying Penn, but I would contend that this argument isn't a strong one.