Fans look at the photo display in the HOF museum the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

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Cliff Branch, Dick Vermeil named Hall of Fame finalists

Former wide receiver Cliff Branch and ex-coach Dick Vermeil were chosen as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 on Tuesday.

Branch was named the Senior Finalist and Vermeil was tabbed Coach Finalist.

Branch, who died in 2019 at age 71, was a three-time Super Bowl champion and a four-time Pro Bowler with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders from 1972-85. He caught 501 passes for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns in 183 regular-season games.

Branch also excelled in the postseason with 73 receptions for 1,289 yards and five touchdowns in 22 games.

Vermeil, who turns 85 on Oct. 30, compiled a 120-109 regular-season record and 6-5 in the postseason. He won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams in the 1999 season and lost in the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1980.

Vermeil went 54-47 with the Eagles from 1976-82, 22-26 with the Rams from 1997-99 and 44-36 with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2001-05.

Vermeil was one of seven coaches under consideration. The Coach Committee only considers coaches whose careers ended at least five years ago.

The Senior Committee began with a list of 16 nominees. Only players whose careers ended at least 25 years ago are eligible.

To be elected to the Hall of Fame, Branch and Vermeil must each receive 80 percent of the vote by the full 49-member Selection Committee when it meets early next year.

–Field Level Media

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