BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. — Cliff Branch, a three-time All-Pro wide receiver who won three Super Bowls during his 14-year NFL career, all with the Oakland Raiders, has died, the team confirmed late Saturday, Aug. 3.
The cause of death was not immediately known. Branch, who turned 71 on Thursday, was found dead at 3:40 p.m. Saturday in his hotel room, according to the Bullhead City Police Department. No foul play was revealed after an initial investigation, and it was determined that Branch died of natural causes.
Branch was a fourth-round draft pick in 1972 by the Raiders out of Colorado, where he was a sprinter on the track team. He totaled 501 receptions for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns in his NFL career, averaging 17.3 yards per reception. He earned first-team All-Pro honors three straight seasons, from 1974-76, and played alongside Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff.
His career totals in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches place him third in franchise history, trailing only Hall of Famers Tim Brown and Biletnikoff in each category.
Branch played for the Raiders teams that won Super Bowl titles in 1976, 1980 and 1983, totaling 14 catches for 181 yards and three scores in the three games.