Branch Says This Will Be Final Season


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.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Aug. 1, 1985 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday August 1, 1985 Home Edition Sports Part 3 Page 1 Column 6 Sports Desk 2 inches; 52 words Type of Material: Correction
In some editions of Wednesday’s Times a report from United Press International erroneously said that Cliff Branch, Raider wide receiver, planned to retire after this season. Branch plans to play through the 1986 season. On a tape recording of the interview on which the story was based, Branch can be heard saying: “I’m going to play two more years, this year and next year.”

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.