Peters admits contract affected his attitude

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Former Buffalo Bills left tackle Jason Peters held his introductory news conference with Philadelphia Eagles reporters and didn't dispel any of the concerns about his attitude or motivations.

A substantial part of the reason the Bills weren't willing to give in to Peters' contractual demands were concerns he wouldn't play up to the money. That curiosity was shared by at least two AFC general managers I spoke with over the past month.

The Eagles signed him to a six-year contract worth $60 million.

My favorite part of the news conference was when Peters said, "It blew my mind, first and foremost, for them to trade me."

Really? His mind must be blown easily. Peters boycotted every offseason and preseason workout last year. He missed the conditioning program. He skipped voluntary workouts. He didn't show for mandatory minicamp. He didn't report to training camp and missed every preseason game.

And this year's holdout would have been even uglier. The Bills' front office was convinced Peters would have held out until Week 10, the time players must report to earn an accrued season toward certain benefits and bargaining rights.

Peters was asked if his contract situation affected his play last year.

"A little bit," Peters said. "I was thinking about it sometimes. If you get beat on a play and you think about your contract ... It doesn't affect me that much. I thought about it some early in the year, but later on in the year it wasn't a big deal."

Sounds to me that if a defender blew past Peters on a particular play, Peters could shrug it off with the notion "Oh, well. I'm not getting paid enough anyway." You wonder how that attitude affected him every day in practice -- once he showed up, that is.

Although Peters was named to his second straight Pro Bowl, many football observers contended he didn't deserve the honor. Sacks allowed isn't an official stat, but a figure floating around said he surrendered double-digit sacks last year.

"That's the first time I've heard that stat," Peters replied when it was presented to him Sunday. "I don't recall giving up that many. If they charged me with that many, so what? I'm an Eagle now.

"If I give up 11 and a half sacks, I'm only human. I'm going to give you 100 percent on every play."

Peters is only human, but a human who's getting paid $25 million guaranteed not to give up sacks.

Eagles coach Andy Reid didn't sound the least bit worried.

"He has the ability to dominate," Reid said. "[The Bills] left Jason on an island the whole time the last couple of years, and he was able to do that. Their protections are a little different than what we do, but it was nice to see him out there all by himself and have confidence that he can do that."

Video of the news conference and a transcript of Peters and Reid are available at PhiladelphiaEagles.com.

There's another video clip featuring a Peters interview on the site's "In the Studio" show.