Bills left tackle Peters a no-show for mandatory minicamp
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters will be fined by the Buffalo Bills after missing the start of the team's three-day mandatory minicamp Wednesday over what's being described as a contract dispute.
"It's a decision he's made and he'll be fined," coach Dick Jauron said, adding he was surprised Peters failed to show up. Jauron declined to say whether he or the Bills' front office have spoken with Peters, who had missed all 13 of the team's voluntary sessions over the past month, the only Bills player who didn't attend at least one practice.
Peters' agent, Vincent Taylor, declined to comment on his client's status during a brief interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. Taylor was not immediately available on Wednesday and it was not known how much he'll be fined.
Peters and the Bills have not commented on the reason he has been absent, but several teammates indicated Peters is unhappy with his contract.
He has three years left on his current deal 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 deal ranks third among Bills offensive linemen, behind left guard Derrick Dockery and right tackle Langston Walker, both acquired in free agency last year.
Referring to Peter's contract, Walker said: "I wish he was here, but he has to do what he has to do. I can't say whether or not what he's doing is right or wrong, that's not for me to decide. We're here. Dockery and myself, and the rest of the offensive line, we're working."
First-year offensive coordinator Turk Schonert is so concerned that he'll consider moving Walker to the left side if Peters fails to show up for the start of training camp next month.
"We've got to be prepared like he's not going to be here, and that's the way we're going to operate in training camp," Schonert said. "Hopefully, we'll see him soon, sooner rather than later, but we've gotta plan like he's not here, because he's not."
Walker said he wasn't concerned about Peters' absence affecting the line's chemistry.
"I don't think it'll affect the chemistry of the line until Sept. 7, that's when it starts to affect us," Walker said, referring to the date of the Bills' season-opener against Seattle.
Undrafted rookie free agent linebacker Jon Banks was excused from practice to attend the birth of his child.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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