Chester Pitts is a welcomed player in Seattle.
Seattle had been openly pursuing Pitts over the last couple weeks, but after passing up the opportunity to watch his workout in Arizona on July 20, it appeared the team’s interest had faded.
Not so, apparently, as the eight-year veteran signed on with the Seahawks in a deal worth $2 million.
Pitts, 31, worked under Seahawks’ offensive line coach Alex Gibbs when he held the same title for the Houston Texans (2008-2009).
Beginning in his 2002 rookie season, Pitts started 114 consecutive games before a knee injury sidelined him after week two of 2009. Pitts appears to be going through a successful recovery from the micro-fracture surgery which kept him out for the remainder of the season. Whether he can return to his old form is yet to be seen. Even if he doesn’t, he still has a good shot at starting on a Seattle team that needs all the help it can get up front. He just may have to wait a couple months before assuming the role.
Pitts started his career as Houston’s franchise left tackle, protecting David Carr’s blind side, after being drafted 50th overall in 2002. He moved to left guard in 2006 where he remained until his week-two injury last season.
If he fully recovers he will make a serious push for a starting job... but when will that be and where does he fit in?
Following up with the prediction that Sean Locklear will go down injured, we could say Pitts will slide in at right guard and Willis moves to tackle.
Otherwise, Pitts will stand as a great backup to this line, possibly serving as a platoon left guard. Ben Hamilton could use some rest with concerns about the outlook on his health from this point in the 33-year-old's career. And Pitts may not be able to handle a nearly-every-down role - or the coaches won't let him take on that kind of role as a precaution.
As for when he will be fully recovered from his micro-fracture surgery, there is no set timetable at the moment. Pitts' injury is similar to the ailment leading to Walter Jones' prolonged absence and eventual retirement, though Jones was a few years older.
According to Seahawks.com and Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Pete Carroll does not anticipate Pitts participating in football activities for a while.
Pitts is a tough guy and still has some football left in him. If he shows some promise toward the end of the year look for the Seahawks to offer a one-year contract for 2011.
In 2010, look for Pitts to serve as one of the best backups in the league once he is healthy.