No one got less press on the offensive line than Chris Chester. The veteran guard came in, quietly claimed the right guard job, and started all 16 games for the Falcons in Dan Quinn's first year. Kyle Shanahan valued him for his familiarity with the scheme and steady play, but will he be back? We'll try to answer that in today's edition of the roster review for our Falcons.
Steady, but not great
While Andy Levitre got justifiably blasted for some of his mistakes, poor blocking, and especially penalties at left guard, Chester played about the same and got very little bad publicity. That's what happens when you're a one year veteran signing instead of a player the Falcons traded for.
That's not to say that Chester was terrible, because he was not, and his run blocking was probably the best of anyone on the interior. He did commit his fair share of penalties, and his pass protection was anything but inspiring for long stretches of the season. Some of the league's tougher interior defensive lines were simply too much for Chester to handle.
He was durable, however, and in a year where the Falcons were making wholesale changes to their offensive line and had very few proven backups, that counts for something.
Chester will be a free agent this year.
Allen Strk will have more in-depth thoughts on Chester's status with the Falcons in a couple of weeks, but suffice to say Atlanta won't be rushing to figure out whether they're re-signing him or not. They'll likely take a hard look at the free agent market, check the draft, and consider moving Mike Person to right guard before they elect to bring Chester back, because he's affordable and can plug right back in, but isn't good enough that you prioritize re-signing him over other options.
If Chester doesn't find a starting gig on the open market and the Falcons strike out elsewhere, expect to see him back in Atlanta, where there's no reason to think he can't turn in a perfectly average season again for Atlanta at the age of 33.