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    Branch, Vermeil selected as Hall of Fame finalists


    Three-time All-Pro receiver Cliff Branch and Super Bowl-winning coach Dick Vermeil are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2022.

    Branch is the senior candidate and Vermeil is the nominee in the coaches category picked Tuesday by a five-person committee of Hall of Fame voters. To be elected to the Hall of Fame, Branch and Vermeil must receive 80% of the vote from the entire 49-member selection committee when it meets early next year.

    Branch was one of the most dynamic receivers of his era as the speedy deep threat for the Raiders that stretched opposing defenses.

    Branch played 14 seasons from 1972-85, ranking in the top five in the NFL in catches (501), yards receiving (8,685) and touchdown catches (67) over that span.

    He also played a key role on three Super Bowl champions with 73 catches for 1,289 yards and five TDs in 22 playoff games. Only Jerry Rice, Julian Edelman and Michael Irvin have more yards receiving in the postseason than Branch.



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