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At Long Last: Cliff Branch to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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It's never too late to live in football immortality.

Legendary Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch was officially selected to Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2022. Branch will posthumously be inducted into the Hall of Fame this August.

Branch is nothing short of fully deserving of this accomplishment with the résumé and legacy he left behind. In his 14 NFL seasons – all with the Raiders – he recorded 8,685 receiving yards, 501 catches and 67 touchdowns. He's still third all-time in franchise history in each of those three categories – behind Hall of Famers Tim Brown and Fred Biletnikoff — and his 1,289 playoff receiving yards were the most in NFL history at the time of his retirement.

I hope our busts are close by, so we can talk. Tom Flores

He was selected by the Raiders in the fourth round of the 1972 NFL Draft, the same year Hall of Fame Coach Tom Flores began his first assistant coaching job with the Silver and Black.

"I had him from his first day ever as a Raider. I watched him grow up, watched him make big plays and just watched him grow as a person," Flores recalled. "I was so proud of him and what he became. He was a game-changer. He not only had incredible speed, he changed the game. I'm very happy for him. I loved him. My kids loved him.

"I hope our busts are close by, so we can talk," Flores said with a laugh.

Branch still holds the Raiders record and shares the league record for longest pass reception – a 99-yarder thrown by Jim Plunkett against Washington on Oct. 2, 1983.

Along with his on field production, Branch had four Pro Bowl selections, three All-Pro selections and three Super Bowl rings to his name.

Take a look back at photos from Raiders legend Cliff Branch's historic career in the Silver and Black.

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