Former NFL linebacker Duane Benson died Saturday at age 73 after a five-year battle with cancer, according to Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Benson played 10 seasons for the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Houston Oilers before joining the Minnesota Senate in 1980. Benson was a member of the 1967 AFL championship Raiders team that lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II.
“The Raiders family is saddened by the recent passing of Duane Benson, who was drafted by the Silver and Black in 1967 and played linebacker for 10 pro seasons,” the Raiders said in a statement on Monday. “Benson was a member of the Raiders’ 1967 AFL Championship team. The hearts of the Raider Nation are with the Benson family at this difficult time.”
Benson appeared in 121 games during his career with three interceptions.
Benson serves in the state senate from 1980 to 1994 with a stint as senate minority leader. Recently he was appointed to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority which oversaw the building and operation of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.