When Chris Chester decided to sign with the Atlanta Falcons instead of the Eagles last week, it wasn't because Philadelphia didn't make a strong offer. According to a report from ESPN Insider Adam Caplan, Philadelphia offered the veteran offensive lineman a multi-year contract, whereas the Falcons only signed him to a one-year deal.
The 32-year-old Chester clearly valued the opportunity for playing time. Philadelphia might not have been able to promise that to him due to the uncertainty surrounding the Evan Mathis situation. Mathis is on the trade block and has been skipping the Eagles' voluntary offseason workout program, but if he decides to return he figures to be the starting left guard. If Mathis is at left guard, it's likely Allen Barbre who will be playing at right guard. Despite a proven track record, the team is high on Barbre. Chester has been a starter for years now and he likely doesn't want to accept a bench role at this point in his career.
The Eagles didn't get Chester, but it's clear they have some interest in addressing the offensive line, as they should. With Mathis currently out of the picture (which could be why the Eagles were so interested in Chester), the current projected starting lineup looks like this from left to right: Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Matt Tobin, Lane Johnson. The guard spots are question marks and there are some concerns about the depth of the entire line.