Peters' absence from Bills' voluntary minicamps noted
"We'd like to have him here, but as you all know, it's voluntary," coach Dick Jauron said Thursday, after the Bills wrapped up a three-day minicamp. "We certainly can't force anybody to come. We've had great participation and great attendance, so we'll just keep moving."
Jauron said he's not spoken with Peters. With backup Kirk Chambers filling in at left tackle, Jauron said Peters' absence is not affecting the offense's progress under first-year coordinator Turk Schonert, who was promoted to the post following Steve Fairchild's departure.
Peters has not been available for comment and his agent, Vincent Taylor, has not returned numerous messages left for him by The Associated Press.
Though the practices are voluntary, Peters is the only Bills player to have missed all seven sessions since they began last week. The Bills have six more voluntary practices left during the next two weeks before holding a mandatory minicamp June 11-13, when all players under contract are required to attend.
The Bills are then off until opening training camp in late July.
Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon declined comment on Peters' absence, except to say he expects the player to attend the team's mandatory sessions.
Peters has three years left on his contract and is scheduled to make a base salary of $3.25 million this season, which is considered low for someone playing such a prominent position. His current deal ranks third among Bills offensive linemen, behind left guard Derrick Dockery and right tackle Langston Walker, both acquired in free agency last year.
Peters had surgery this offseason to repair a sports hernia, which forced him to miss the final game of last season. The injury also prevented him from participating in the Pro Bowl after he was selected to play for the first time in his career.
Signed by the Bills as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Arkansas in 2004, Peters broke in with Buffalo as a tight end before being converted to tackle the following year. He started nine games at right tackle in 2005 before he was switched to the left side midway through the 2006 season.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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