Last week, ESPN.com AFC East reporter Tim Graham reported that the Buffalo Bills and OT Jason Peters remained at a contract impasse, and that the Bills were no closer to trading the disgruntled left tackle than to signing him. The report suggested the possibility that the Bills - long believed to be in a "sign him or ship him" limbo - might end up holding onto Peters through the 2009 NFL Draft, dealing with his likely holdout and letting Peters' 2008 season repeat itself next season.
Last night, Mike Lombardi of The National Football Post appeared on NFL Network's Total Access - and offered a slightly different take on the Peters situation.
Asked to give a percentage likelihood that Peters would be traded, Lombardi responded with "75 percent". He mentioned the aforementioned contract impasse, the Bills' willingness to entertain trade conversations to avoid a repeat of 2008, and stated that the team could expect a No. 1 draft pick "and some other things happening" in return for Peters.
Lombardi also confirmed that Peters is seeking an annual salary in the eight figures, accurately calling his contract demands the key to any trade involving Peters. Finally, he mentioned one team - the Philadelphia Eagles - as potential suitors for Peters.
Clearly, the two reports conflict on likely outcomes, though they're clearly consistent in most of the details. For the record, Graham confirmed his theory that Peters would ultimately stay with the Bills last night on Bills Fan Radio. (And if you listen to the show, you might recognize the guest that preceded Graham on the program.)
Eleven days and change
With the 2009 NFL Draft eleven days away, the clock continues to tick on the Peters situation, as most following the story as it develops believe the Bills will make a move either way by the end of draft weekend. Each day that passes is another day where the Bills lack definition at their most critical offensive line position as well as in their draft-day strategical plans.
Consider this your daily obligatory "Jason Peters speculation open thread". Which of the conflicting reports are you inclined to side with?