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Jason Peters is back, and I still can’t figure out how I feel about that.
It’s not that anyone is asking me. I’m pretty sure that Russ Brandon isn’t wondering what my opinion is on the subject. I haven’t gotten any phone calls or emails from Dick Jauron asking for my advice on what to do with Jason Peters now that he’s back. Ralph Wilson has not set up any meetings with me to discuss how they should proceed.
And boy am I glad!
Honestly, what do you do with this? Is the NFL so much a “business” that you just don’t worry about the disrespect that Peters showed the Bills organization and his teammates by not reporting for work when he was supposed to… for many months? Would you be able to do that where you work? Would your boss just work you right back into the rotation? How about if you were being paid a salary $3.25 million dollars to do that job?
I know the NFL is not “real life” but how is this a good thing? Peters may have all the talent in the world, but how can his little negotiating tactic – the “silent treatment” – go unpunished. Sure he’s paying lots of fines, but that would happen to anyone, even a player who is actively trying to negotiate with the organization. Peters was not, and there should at least be some added consequence for that.
First things first. Peters must pass a physical. He was given one today when he reported, but the results are as of yet unknown. Assuming he has kept in shape (expecting that he would play this season) will he be added to the active roster? The Bills could surely use help at the tackle position, but is it a good idea to just throw Peters right back into the mix.
If the ultimate goal is winning (and if he passed the physical) the answer is, “Yes.” Plain and simple, he’s a great lineman, and will help this team win. But if the team morale is involved in the equation – or even just “the right thing to do” – then perhaps the Bills coaches have a tougher decision than we think. I may be thinking way too much about this, but if I was in the situation the Bills front office was in, I would trade this player, or just cut him. (Assuming of course that we have all the same details they do. Perhaps he wasn’t as silent as we have all been told. Or perhaps he was.)
We know that he will not play Sunday. The Bills will rely on their current back-up tackles, Langston Walker and Kirk Chambers. Walker has been injured, but should be ready to go for Sunday. And he has a good test in Patrick Kearney, a solid DE.
It will be interesting to see what the front office and coaching staff decide to do with this situation. I really don’t have a good answer. But whatever they do, they need to do it quickly, and keep moving forward. This team has a great nucleus of talent and a decent shot at advancing to the playoffs this season. Would be a shame to see Jason Peters’ offseason antics ruin that.