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There’s a disturbance in the force at Bills training camp this mid summer’s eve. And it’s no minor one. This disturbance could get downright ugly.
As Dave pointed out earlier the disturbance is emanating from our left tackle, Jason Peters.
Perhaps you could have guessed this, but I have a slightly different opinion on this than Dave. Not entirely. I completely agree with his points (except, not sure where he’s going with the “Sabres…” one, perhaps just that they lose all their best players?) But I do not agree with who it seems he thinks is to blame.
See, I believe the Bills. From everything they have said, they have had no contact at all with Peters since the end of the 2007 season. What? What kind of negotiating tactic is that? How is that being a team player? Should there be some participation here? I could be wrong (I’m sure I have not seen everything that has been published on this) but I don’t think I have ever seen where Peters’ agent, or Peters himself have ever even asked for a contract extension!
If Jason Peters would like to be paid more money, I’m all for it. I think allowing the fewest sacks in the league last year, and the fewest for any Bills team in a decade, speaks for itself. Peters was selected by his peers to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl. He’s definitely a great player, a great story, and from what I hear, a great man.
But is this his best strategy?
Peters has three years left on a very lucrative contract. He’s making millions a year, and there’s no reason to believe that the Bills won’t restructure that to lock him up long term. Look what they have been doing. They signed Schobel and Kelsay to long term extensions last year. They are working on Lee Evans right now (although his contract is closer to its end) and they restructured Moorman, Lindell, Kyle Williams, and others. The Bills are very willing to reward players who show promise, and a commitment to the organization.
I do not believe Peters is serving his own best interest by not reporting to training camp.
Some have speculated that the hold out has something to do with the injury he suffered late last season, and a slow recovery from the subsequent surgery. Not sure if that’s the case. It does seem like Peters just wants to be paid more. Traditionally the left tackle is the highest paid position, but the Bills shelled out mega dollars last season for LG Derrick Dockery and RT Langston Walker. Both of whom are integral pieces of the offensive line, and both of whom dwarf Peters’ salary.
So he has a reason to be disgruntled. But he has no reason to believe the Bills will not extend the same offers (pro-active offers) that they have to several other players over the last several years.
My advice to Jason is to dump whoever the guy is who is advising him to hold out of training camp. It’s a blemish on him, and as Dave said, a distraction to the team in an otherwise very promising pre-season. There could be very good things for Buffalo this year, but Peters’ strangely silent quest for more money (or so we presume) will not help that at all.
It can only hurt.