Raider wide receiver Cliff Branch, the 13th-leading receiver in National Football League history, said Tuesday he plans to retire after this season.
Branch, who turns 37 Aug. 1, has caught the most passes in the NFL playoffs, 73. He has 501 career receptions in the regular season, second on the Raiders to Fred Biletnikoff’s 589.
But last year was his second straight season marred by injury. He sustained a pulled groin in the fourth week, making it difficult to run pass routes.
“The injury nagged me most of the year,” Branch told United Press International. “I wasn’t able to get completely healthy.”
He caught only 27 passes in 1984, his lowest total since he became a starter in 1974, and failed to catch a touchdown pass for the first time since his rookie season in 1972.