Starting left tackle Donald Penn said Friday that he has signed his restricted free agent tender, locking him into a one-year deal with the Bucs for $2.8 million.
Penn, 25, was the only unexplained absence at last week's voluntary minicamp in Tampa.
"My agent was in contact with a couple of teams, so it wasn't smart for me to go to mini-camp without being under contract," Penn said. "Anything could happen out there."
But Penn was adamant the move shouldn't be considered a holdout.
"I want to make it clear: I wasn't holding out," he said. "That's something I want the fans to know. I'm not even that type of person."
Penn's options were extremely limited because his high-level contract tender required any team that signed him to concede one first- and one third-round draft pick to the Bucs. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, enjoyed the right to match any offer. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2010.
Penn is back with the team that gave him his first real shot as an undrafted prospect out of Utah State. General manager Mark Dominik, then the director of pro personnel, zeroed in on Penn when he was released from the Vikings' practice squad in 2006.
"Mr. Dominik gave me an opportunity," Penn said. "I always thought I had the ability, but I needed a chance. I'll always remember that."
VICK SAGA: Michael Vick was back in Atlanta, the city where he rose to NFL stardom, but as a prisoner. Federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Felicia Ponce said the suspended Falcons quarterback was moved from Virginia, where he had been held for a bankruptcy hearing, to a medium-security unit in southeast Atlanta.
TV PEACE: The NFL Network and Dish Network announced a settlement ending a lawsuit. The agreement includes a multiyear deal for the satellite TV provider to continue carrying NFL Network.