3:51pm: Chester’s one-year deal will be worth a maximum of $2.5MM, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
2:06pm: The Falcons have brought back one of the starts from their 2015 offensive line, announcing today in a press release that they’ve re-signed veteran guard Chris Chester. Terms of Chester’s new deal have not yet been reported.
Chester, who signed a one-year deal with the Falcons last May, started all 16 games for the fifth straight season, serving as Atlanta’s full-time right guard. Since entering the league in 2006, the 33-year-old has spent time in Baltimore, Washington, and now Atlanta, starting 127 of his 153 total regular-season games, with eight playoff contests under his belt as well.
A report earlier this month indicated that Chester underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in the offseason, suggesting he may not be healthy until June. However, the Falcons were apparently confident enough that he’ll make a full recovery that they didn’t want to wait until then to lock him up.
In 2015, Chester ranked as the 24th-best guard out of 81 qualified players, per Pro Football Focus’ grades. PFF assigned the veteran lineman a somewhat mediocre pass-blocking grade, but he scored very well as a run blocker.
Chester currently projects as the Falcons’ starter at right guard again in 2016, though the team could add some competition via the draft.