But, hey, don't take it from me, Jason. Take it from your agent. He happens to be the same guy who represents Jackson and who recommended that the Rams running back return to his club.
So Jackson did. Now he has a new contract. Connect the dots.
|Jason Peters was the Bills' lone Pro Bowl selection on offense last season. (Getty Images)|
Once I thought his demands might be a convenient device to skip training camp, which meant I thought he would rejoin the team once it moved back to Orchard Park. Well, it returned for Thursday's practice, and he wasn't there.
Too bad. Because he doesn't hold the cards here; the Bills do. He's under contract. In fact, he's under contract for three seasons.
So if he doesn't report he doesn't get paid. Worse, he gets fined, and last time I checked that was running in excess of $200,000. What's more, the club is investigating the possibility of reclaiming part of his signing bonus, which is another reason for Peters to wake up and smell the coffee.
We all expect he will return to the Bills sometime soon, so what's the use in prolonging the wait? If he's serious about gaining an extension there is no choice: He must show up. I don't know how the Bills can make it any clearer.
Look, I don't believe Peters wants to sit out the season anymore than you do. I also believe he's an important part -- OK, the most important part -- of Buffalo's offensive line. So what am I missing here?
The Bills want him back, but he wants more money. The Bills made it clear they won't start talking about an extension until he returns, and they also made it clear 2008 is non-negotiable. OK, fine.
The next move is up to Peters, only nobody has seen the guy since Jan. 15. There's absolutely no dialogue, and that's not good.
Insiders tell me he spoke with teammates recently. That's at least a start. Now he needs to follow through and take a step that's inevitable and necessary if he is to continue his career. He needs to show up at practice and start talking to someone, anyone.
The Bills half expected he might return Thursday, partly because of the Jackson situation and partly because they're back home. But with Peters still AWOL they're not sure what to expect next, and neither am I. But I do know what needs to happen.
Steven Jackson, that's what.
Yep, the time for being intractable, uncooperative and stupid is over. If Jason Peters is serious about resuming his career he needs to get back to work. Buffalo wants him as much as he wants a new deal, though I will tell you this: In their first two preseason games one of the items the Bills liked most about their play was the pass protection.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out the Bills are better with Langston Walker staying at right tackle and Peters, their lone Pro Bowl offensive lineman, back in the lineup. It also doesn't take a genius to figure out Peters can't get what he wants until he returns to that lineup.
So what's the problem? Only Peters can answer, and I have a running back in St. Louis he can telephone for help.