By Casey Pearce, Chargers.com
Monday, February 13, 2006
As Jacques Cesaire watched the snow cover his Mystic, Connecticut offseason home last weekend, he couldn’t help but long for the San Diego sunshine. Thanks to the new contract that he’s agreed to, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the climate of Southern California.
The Chargers announced Monday that Cesaire and the team have reached an agreement on a new five-year contract. Cesaire’s current contract was due to expire in March at which time he would have become a Restricted Free Agent.
“I’m just excited about the fact that I’m going to be in San Diego for at least the next five years,” Cesaire said. “I know the place, the team, the coaches and everyone there. I’m excited about being able to come back and continue to get better and help this team win a championship.”
Following a Division II All-American performance as a senior at Southern Connecticut State, Cesaire was not selected in the NFL draft, but the Chargers gave him a shot at pro football. Cesaire earned a roster spot and developed a great sense of gratitude toward the Bolts.
“This is the team that gave me a chance in the first place,” Cesaire said. “Coming out of a small Division II school, you don’t get a lot of opportunities. The Chargers invited me to camp and gave me a chance to become a professional. I’m eternally grateful for that as well as the team’s loyalty to me now.”
Due in large part to the Chargers’ dedication to winning, Cesaire had no desire to test the waters of free agency this spring.
“You can just tell that A.J. (Smith) and Marty (Schottenheimer) and everyone involved are working hard to build a championship team,” Cesaire said. “I just respect what they do and am glad to be part of that.”
Cesaire also stated that his strong relationship with defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely also played a key role in his desire to remain in San Diego.
“I always tell Coach Nunnely that I probably wouldn’t be in this league if it weren’t for him,” Cesaire said. “He’s so fundamentally sound. He teaches us technique and shows us how we’re supposed to play the game. He’s a great coach and a great person, and I’m extremely happy that I get to continue to work with him.”
Over the past two seasons, Cesaire has started 17 of 32 games and stood strong against the run. In 2005, he played a key role in the NFL’s top-ranked rushing defense.
“I’m just happy that they want me around to try to help them as much as I can,” Cesaire said. “There are a lot of players that come and go. It makes me feel secure and it makes me want to work harder to prove to myself and to everyone else that the Chargers made the right choice.”