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Raiders legendary Hall of Fame worthy wide receiver Cliff Branch dies at 71

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Denver Post Archives Denver Post via Getty Images

Two days ago, Cliff Branch celebrated his 71st birthday. Yesterday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced they would be inducting 20 players in their 2020 Centennial class. Today another Raiders great has passed away. The Raider Nation mourns the passing of legendary wide receiver Cliff Branch.

The reason the Centennial class announcement is significant is because among them would be ten Senior era players inducted. No player in NFL history is more worthy of being among those ten players than Cliff Branch. He has been eligible for 30 years and somehow the player who upon his retirement was the NFL’s all time leading playoff receiver has not gotten the call. He also was on all three Raiders Super Bowl teams.

Should he get the call he has deserved for 30 years, he would be just the latest long deserving Raiders great to be enshrined the year after their death. Ken Stabler passed away in 2015 and a year later he was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Senior committee. And honor the modern era voting committee couldn’t see fit to do.

Losing Cliff Branch is truly tragic. He was a true Raiders great. He was a true NFL great. And a truly great human being. Someone I have had the great honor to speak with on multiple occasions. He deserved to take that stage and accept his bust. He will never get that chance. It makes me sad and angry.