Chargers HOF candidates now and in the future

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass against the Oakland RaidersPhoto: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

O'Neal, Rivers top prospects for Hall call


--Defensive end Leslie O'Neal: O'Neal, the AFC's 1986 defensive rookie of the year, played in an era of dominating pass rushers and he sometimes gets overlooked. But he's the Chargers' all-time sack leader at 105.5 after he played his first eight seasons with the Bolts in a 12-year career. With San Diego, O'Neal was a six-time Pro Bowler and he paced the squad in sacks every year from 1990-95. O'Neal's 132.5 career sacks ties him with Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor for 13th on the NFL's all-time list. All eight eligible players on that list ranked above O'Neal are in the Hall of Fame, as well as the next two players below O'Neal: Rickey Jackson (128 sacks) and Derrick Thomas (126.5).

Still playing

--Quarterback Philip Rivers: Much like Chargers Hall of Famer Dan Fouts, Rivers has produced some impressive numbers but never has directed his team to the Super Bowl. That blemish didn't keep Fouts from being enshrined and the same might be true for Rivers as he enters his 15th season.

Rivers still has a shot to reach the Super Bowl and to duplicate Fouts' feat of leading the Chargers to two AFC Championship Games. Rivers is ninth on the NFL's all-time passing yards list and has thrown for 4,000 yards in nine seasons, which is tied with Tom Brady for third all-time. Rivers' 11 consecutive seasons of throwing for 3,000 yards is tied for the fourth-best in NFL history. He has thrown for 30 touchdowns in five seasons, which is the sixth-best ever. With 342 scoring passes, Rivers is tied for No. 6 all-time with Fran Tarkenton.