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Robert Kraft, ‘Bucko’ Kilroy named 2023 finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame as contributors

The Coach/Contributor Committee’s list of finalists has been reduced to 12.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its list of 2023 finalists in the Coach/Contributor category on Wednesday, and a pair of candidates from the New England Patriots’ past and present made the cut to a dozen.

Team owner Robert Kraft and former general manager and vice president Frank “Bucko” Kilroy are still in contention for Canton.

Both stood among 29 semifinalists at the beginning of the month. They are joined by Roone Arledge, Don Coryell, Mike Holmgren, Art Modell, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves, Art Rooney Jr., Mike Shanahan, Clark Shaughnessy and John Wooten at the end of it.

Kraft, 81, has served as owner, chairman and CEO of the Patriots dating back to 1994. A season-ticket holder since 1971, the six-time Super Bowl champion received the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award in 2006 and the Pro Football Writers of America’s George Halas Award in 2012.

Kilroy, who passed at age 86 in 2007, was a two-time NFL champion, three-time Pro Bowler and member of the 1940s All-Decade roster. The former lineman worked as a scout for three franchises and joined the Patriots as director of player personnel in 1971. Kilroy went on to hold the position of general manager from 1979 to 1982 and then vice president from 1983 to 1993. His final role as a New England scout consultant spanned from 1994 through 2006, as well as through a trio of Super Bowl rings.

The Coach/Contributor Committee will reconvene on Aug. 23 to select one individual for induction as part of next year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Patriots all-time receiving yardage leader Stanley Morgan, who was among 24 semifinalists for the Seniors Committee, did not make Wednesday’s reduction to 12 finalists.

Morgan, 67, landed in Foxborough in the first round of the 1977 draft and would spend 13 seasons with the organization. The Tennessee product finished his Patriots tenure with 534 catches, 10,352 yards and 67 touchdowns. A two-time second-team All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowler and member of the franchise’s Hall of Fame, Morgan’s 12 receiving scores led the league in 1979. His career average of 19.2 yards per reception qualified for the league record.

The Seniors Committee’s finalists include Ken Anderson, Maxie Baughan, Randy Gradishar, Chuck Howley, Cecil Isbell, Joe Klecko, Bob Kuechenberg, Eddie Meador, Tommy Nobis, Ken Riley, Sterling Sharpe and Everson Walls.