Walt Sweeny Dies: San Diego Chargers Lineman Passes Away From Cancer, Standout Guard Played In Nine Pro Bowls

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Feb 05, 2013 12:20 PM EST
Walt Sweeny, an offensive lineman for the San Diego Chargers
Walt Sweeny, an offensive lineman for the San Diego Chargers and a 13-year NFL veteran, died on Saturday of pancreatic cancer. San Diego Chargers quarterback Drew Brees looks down his offensive line during during second half of their game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Maryland November 27, 2005. The Chargers defeated the Redskins 23-17 in overtime.(Photo : Reuters) "

Walt Sweeny, an offensive lineman for the San Diego Chargers and a 13-year NFL veteran, died on Saturday of pancreatic cancer.

According to Yahoo.com and the team's official website, Sweeny died at age 71 after dealing with issues related to pancreatic cancer. Sweeny was originally drafted by the team as a second round pick out of Syracuse in the 1963 AFL merger draft.

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He played with Chargers through the 1970 NFL merger and made the team's Hall of Fame after playing 11 seasons in San Diego. Sweeny also played two years with the Washington Redskins and was named to the AFL All-Star Game or the Pro Bowl nine straight seasons while playing in 181 consecutive games.

According to Yahoo.com, 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.

Sweeny was considered one of the best offensive linemen during his time and could play at any position on the line, including at guard. He made the All-Century team at Syracuse and also played in the North-South Game and the College All-Star Game.

Sweeny was born on April 18, 1941 in Cohasset, Massachusetts, and his old football card can be found HERE.

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