Even before the games begin, the Buffalo Bills and Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters have their first victory of the season.
Peters informed the Bills on Friday that he plans to end his summer-long holdout and report to the team Saturday, one day before Buffalo opens its season against Seattle. The team already has made the decision that Peters will not play Sunday against Seattle.
“It is our understanding that Jason has filed a re-instatement letter with the National Football League and that he is reporting to One Bills Drive tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” Bills COO Russ Brandon said in a statement released by the team.
With Peters applying to the league for reinstatement, the NFL is expected to grant the Bills a two-game roster exemption.
However, Buffalo could opt to activate Peters at any time, and would be expected to do so next week, meaning he would likely be available to play Sept. 14 at Jacksonville.
Peters will not be arriving in Buffalo with the new contract he has been seeking. But both sides have agreed to maintain an open dialogue throughout the season with the hopes of striking a deal that will satisfy both sides. Peters has three years left on his contract.
Paving the way for Peters arrival were the talks the two sides had throughout the past week, when they began speaking Monday morning for the first time in a long time. Throughout the summer they had limited, if any contract, but with the regular season approaching, both sides recognized the need to open the lines of communication, which they did.
Those talks resulted in a compromise that will bolster Buffalo’s offensive line, afford quarterback Trent Edwards more time to throw, and running back Marshawn Lynch more holes to run through. Peters is on his way back, and this is a win even before the season begins.