Peters proving holdout was foolish

Jason Peters needs to look at his poor play as a humbling experience after a failed holdout during the off-season. Marc Heintzman explains why his actions have been hindering the Bills' performance this season...

Jason Peters must be doing some major reflecting at this point in the season. After caving on his summer-long holdout, the Pro Bowl left tackle certainly is not making a good case for why he even boycotted training camp and the preseason in the first place. He is one of the major reasons the offensive line has been chronically under-performing this season, and if he ever wants to see a bigger contract, he better start playing like it.

Peters was the feel good story for the Bills over the past few seasons. He worked his way up from the practice squad to the Pro Bowl by improving his skills and moving from a blocking tight end to a right tackle, and finally to the all-important left tackle position. It was at this position where Peters would thrive best. He absolutely owned the position last season, providing exceptional protection for Trent Edwards and J.P. Losman. He impressed everybody with his speed and ability to defend some of the league's best defensive ends.

This season carries a completely different tune for Peters and the entire offensive line. Last season they gave up 26 throughout the entire regular season. Going into week seven of this season, they have already given up 16. Not only that, but the run game has suffered immensely as well. The team ranks 23rd in the league in with 98.4 average rushing yards per game. Marshawn Lynch has yet to have a 100-yard game and has only 319 yards through five games. These are all problems that can be attributed to the offensive line's weak performance so far this season, and Peters' sub par play stands out particularly.

Of course Peters can't shoulder all of the blame, but he should be because of his attitude towards his team during the off-season. While nearly all of his teammates were working hard at both optional and required mini-camps, Peters chose to sit at home and sulk about his "insufficient" contract. While his teammates were sweating out the grueling hours at training camp, Peters was still not there. When the team played their preseason games, working out game plans and improving their play, Peters still chose to be absent and think only of himself and his money.

The hard work definitely paid off for the team as a whole. They're currently 4-1 and sitting atop the AFC East for the first time in a while. Peters however has been the team's biggest disappointment so far, playing far below what he is capable of. He's making himself look even more foolish and unworthy of a new contract after turning his nose up at his team in the off-season.

Russ Brandon and the front office of the Bills deserve some credit for standing tall and not giving in to Peters' childish demands. They refused to negotiate with anyone who didn't show up and participate with the rest of the team. If you think you deserve a new contract, prove it first and then we'll reward you, it's that simple. With the way he's playing now, Peters is making last season's All-Pro performance look like a fluke and isn't playing like he deserves a new contract.

This should be an extremely humbling experience for Peters. Realizing that you aren't the entire team can be very hard in today's NFL where money is king. Players are more worried about their payday than Sunday and in Peters' case, that's obviously a problem. When you start bringing down your own team because of your greed, you need to reevaluate your priorities.

So hopefully Peters is learning his lesson. If the Bills want to continue their winning ways and make it into the playoffs, they all have to be on the same level and play as a team. They have a tough stretch of games coming up and they can't afford to be brought down by "me" players like the Jason Peters of this past summer. When he can accept the fact that he isn't better than the guy next to him in the locker room, then he can start playing like the Jason Peters of 2007.

Buffalo Football Report Top Stories