OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens veteran offensive lineman Chris Chester’s quickness and versatility haven’t escaped the notice of other NFL teams.
Chester has played center, both offensive guard spots, blocking tight end and has even operated as a fullback.
The deadline for the restricted free agent signing period is this Thursday, and Chester has been fielding some exploratory interest from other NFL teams. At this point, though, no offer sheet is forthcoming.
The restricted free agent market is practically nonexistent, with teams extremely reluctant to surrender a draft pick in exchange for a player.
Chester was assigned an original-round tender. Under the upgraded tender rule, a team would be required to compensate the Ravens with a third-round draft pick if they signed him to an offer sheet and Baltimore decided not to match.
One NFL team that would be a fit for Chester from a scheme standpoint is the Washington Redskins, whose offensive line is now coached by former Ravens and San Francisco 49ers offensive line coach Chris Foerster. However, the Redskins lack a third-round draft pick.
Since the Ravens drafted the athletic 6-foot-3, 315-pounder in 2006, Chester has started 33 games. That includes 13 starts last season. He is currently slated to be a key backup again in Baltimore this season.
Unless there’s any legs to those trade rumors surrounding offensive tackle Jared Gaither, which would trigger a line shuffle, or an injury to center Matt Birk or guards Ben Grubbs and Marshall Yanda, Chester figures to remain in a similar role to the one that he played at the end of last season as a swing player operating at several positions.
NOTE: Defensive assistant Roy Anderson worked under defensive line coach Clarence Brooks for the past two seasons. Now, the former personnel assistant is going to help out secondary coach Chuck Pagano with the defensive backs this season, the team announced.