After seeing Tom Flores finally get into the Hall of Fame, the attention of Raider Nation now turns to Raiders legend Cliff Branch.
You cannot write the history of the Raiders franchise without mentioning Cliff Branch, who played his entire career with the organization and became a legend. The incredibly talented wide receiver played 14 seasons in the Silver and Black, and when he retired, he was the NFL’s all-time leader in playoff receiving yards.
Known for his blazing speed, Branch has long been a snub of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, despite having better career numbers than many wide receivers who entered the Hall before him. Also, Branch was an incredible playmaker when it counted, winning three Super Bowls with the Raiders, and four times being named a Pro Bowler.
Hall of Fame eligible since 1990, Branch had waited nearly 30 years to hear his name called, and despite being a finalist, he still won’t. Branch passed away in 2019 at the age of 71, two days before his 72nd birthday.
Raiders legend named a Senior Finalist for the PFHOF
On Tuesday, it was announced that Branch had finally been nominated as a Senior Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As a lifelong Raiders fan, this announcement brought so much joy, but also a bit of sadness, as Branch is no longer with us, but being that most Senior nominees get in, his time should be now.
Branch twice led the NFL in receiving touchdowns, and during the 1970s, he was one of the elite pass-catchers in professional football. He led the NFL in receiving yards in 1974, was named All-Pro three times, and finished his career with over 500 catches, for nearly 9,000 yards, and 67 touchdowns.
In fact, our Kenny King Jr. recently asked the question: Is Cliff Branch the most underrated wideout in NFL history?
The now-Las Vegas Raiders have three Super Bowl titles as a franchise, but these six legendary players never won a ring with the organization.
This is a very special moment for Raider Nation, and especially Cliff’s family, who, if he is finally enshrined, will accept the honor in his place. Branch has very few equals in terms of his place in the history of this beloved franchise, and we are all waiting for him to finally be immortalized in Canton.