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Raiders' Donald Penn ends holdout, returns to practice

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The Donald Penn holdout is over.

The Raiders left tackle appeared at practice Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The 34-year-old veteran, set to make $5.8 million this season, was staying away from camp until the team agreed to pay him like a top-10 left tackle, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported at the time the holdout began.

The Raiders officially reinstated Penn to their active roster Wednesday night.

NFL Network's Michael Silver spoke with Penn roughly two weeks ago, and the tackle said he was holding firm. General manager Reggie McKenzie told Silver it was a "family dispute" and that he was confident the team could work something out.

What changed? Nothing contractually yet, according to Rapoport. However, Rapoport reported that the Raiders wanted Penn to show up "in good faith" before any negotiations could start. This would seem to be the opening serve in what could be a rolling discussion over the coming weeks.

Initially, this looked to be a game of who blinks first, but a real showdown may come down the road. Penn is a crucial part of a Super Bowl-caliber roster and the blind side protector of the franchise's new $25 million quarterback, Derek Carr. He's also a bullish run blocker who can help unlock the team's newest weapon, Marshawn Lynch. The Raiders have compiled one of the league's best offensive lines over the past two seasons, but may have struggled to find the same rhythm without Penn.

Minus Penn, Marshall Newhouse, Jylan Ware, David Sharpe and Vadal Alexander were the team's top options at offensive tackle.

Now, the question becomes how they reward him for his return. Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson is the league's 10th highest paid tackle at $11,252,000. Los Angeles Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth is right behind Johnson at $11,250,000. The Raiders paid guard Kelechi Osemele an average of $11.7 million while fellow guard Gabe Jackson recently inked a deal worth $11 million per year.

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