Walt Sweeney, former San Diego Chargers OL, dies at 71

SAN DIEGO -- Walt Sweeney, a standout offensive lineman for the San Diego Chargers in the 1960s and 1970s, has died at 71.

The Chargers' website says Sweeney died Sunday of pancreatic cancer.

Sweeney was a second-round pick out of Syracuse in the 1963 AFL Draft, and he stayed with the Chargers through the 1970 NFL merger. He eventually was named to the team's Hall of Fame.

Sweeney played in either the AFL All-Star Game or the Pro Bowl for nine straight seasons and played in 181 consecutive games.

He spent 11 seasons with San Diego and two with the Washington Redskins.

In 1997, a judge ordered the NFL to pay Sweeney $1.8 million in disability after he claimed drugs his teams gave him made him an addict. The ruling was overturned on appeal.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.

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