Jacques Cesaire, signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003, was the leader of a defensive line for the only team he has played for. Cesaire became expendable because of a youth movement along the line.
Hester was a special teams captain, who played 62 games since being drafted by the team in 2007.
''With guys like that, they feel like family,'' Chargers coach Norv Turner said. ''But you have to make some tough decisions in this business, and we believe we've constructed a solid roster designed to win football games.''
Kicker Nick Novak, offensive tackles Mario Henderson and Anthony Davis, running back Edwin Baker, offensive linemen Charlie Bryant, Stephen Schilling and Colin Baxter, cornerbacks DeAndre Presley, Arthur Hobbs and Greg Gatson, defensive ends Logan Harrell and Damik Scafe, tight end Kory Sperry, receiver Mike Willie, linebackers Bront Bird, Ricky Elmore and Darryl Gamble, punter Robert Malone and quarterback Jarrett Lee were also released.
Safety Sean Cattouse was placed on injured reserve.
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