New Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey and disgruntled running back Marshawn Lynch are locked in an interesting battle of wills.
Both were at the Bills' practice facility during organized team activities last week, yet they supposedly never spoke with each other. In fact, they have yet to meet because Lynch is refusing to participate in voluntary practices, which is his way of protesting the fact that the Bills haven't traded him. Meanwhile, Gailey is refusing to make a special effort to have an audience with Lynch because, according to NFL sources, he doesn't want to give into what he sees as Lynch's petulance and make the running back believe he can operate by a different set of rules than the rest of the team.
With the Bills using a first-round draft pick on Clemson running back C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson moving into a more prominent role -- as Lynch gave a disappointing performance last season -- Lynch has ample reason to believe he doesn't have much of a future in Buffalo.
As long as Lynch is under contract with the Bills, Gailey expects him to act as if he's part of the team, but the coach will not force the issue. He's waiting for Lynch, who has two years left on his contract, to make the first move. He's expecting him to report to the remaining offseason workouts -- and to training camp -- and otherwise conduct himself as a Bill.
"Chan is not going to approach this like (his predecessor, Dick) Jauron," the source said. "He's not going to handle things the way Dick did with Jason Peters (the offensive tackle the Bills eventually traded to the Philadelphia Eagles after he held out in a contract dispute). Lynch is going to get on board with his program, period."
Gailey called it "strange" Saturday that he and Lynch never met while the running back was at the team's headquarters for two days last week. Lynch worked out on his own but didn't practice.
Gailey also said he was open to meeting with Lynch.
"Always," the coach said. "I like to meet with every player we've got, but sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. That's life."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.