Bills holdout Peters becoming a myth?

August, 19, 2008
8/19/08
8:26
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Peters

Before my plane left the Buffalo Niagara International Airport tarmac Saturday afternoon, I spotted something spectacular.

Buried on the back pages of the Buffalo News was the headline, "Two men claim to have Bigfoot corpse on ice."

"Wow," I muttered to myself. "Sasquatch is easier to find than Jason Peters."

Information about Peters, the Pro Bowl left tackle who's holding out for a new contract, has been scarce. We're talking Loch Ness Monster and Bronson Pinchot stuff here.

There've been reported sightings -- none confirmed -- in Orchard Park, N.Y., Arkansas and Texas.

Updates from those who might know his location have been negligible.

I've had better luck getting calls returned from Gitmo detainees than I have from Peters' agent, Eugene Parker.

Thursday night in Toronto, I asked Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon if there were any updates on Peters.

Brandon told me he's not speaking about the situation until Peters reports to the team. Then, two days later, Brandon went on Sirius Satellite Radio and claimed there had been no movement.

An NFL source tells me the Bills are more committed than ever to their hard-line stance on Peters. They're a small-market team that can't afford to let their players hold them hostage, and they're learning they might not be that bad without him.

There was a belief Peters -- upset he's the third highest-paid Bills offensive lineman -- might have gained leverage in contract negotiations when the Bills lost backup tackles Matt Murphy and Patrick Estes within minutes of each other. The injuries occurred 72 hours before Thursday night's exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Toronto.

But the first-team offense acquitted itself on its two series, driving the Bills to a pair of touchdowns. Although Peters' replacement, Langston Walker, gave up a sack to James Harrison almost for a safety, the Bills were pleased with how their starters performed.

If Peters wants to get paid at all this year, he'll need to emerge from deep cover.

Until then, at least as far as the Bills are concerned, he doesn't exist.

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