Dick Butkus is a retired professional American football player in the National Football League (NFL). He held the linebacker position for the Chicago Bears in 1965 to 1973. Butkus is a six-time Pro Bowler and a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Born on December 9, 1942 in Illinois, he played football in different positions at Chicago Vocational High School. Butkus earned various accolades while playing college football for the University of Illinois. In the 1965 NFL Draft, he was selected by the Chicago Bears in the first-round pick.
During his rookie season, he was named to the Pro Bowl and was third in running for the Associated Press’ Rookie of the Year award. While he was earning recognition for his exceptional performance, the Bears were having their worst standings in their history. Butkus was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 1969 and 1970.
In 1971, he continued to play strongly even after undergoing preventive surgery for an old knee injury. However, his performance went on a steady decline in the following seasons. His injury forced him to retire in May 1974. His career player statistics are 119 games played, 22 interceptions, and 27 fumble recoveries.