The Green Bay Packers could very well have another player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next year.
This time, it’s the one we have been waiting for.
Legendary guard Jerry Kramer was named a Senior Finalist for the Class of 2018 by the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday afternoon, putting him one step away from induction into the Hall. The Senior Finalists will be voted on by the Hall’s Selection Committee on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 — the day before Super Bowl LII.
If Kramer gets 80% of the vote (39 or more of the 48-member panel), he would become part of next year’s class.
Kramer was a critical piece of the Packers’ offensive line during the Vince Lombardi years, manning the right guard position from 1958 through 1968 as well as contributing as a kicker. Kramer was a five-time first-team All-Pro and was a part of five NFL championship teams, including the 1966 and 1967 teams that won Super Bowls I and II.
This is the second year that Kramer has been a Senior Finalist, as he earned that honor in 1997 but was not elected into the Hall of Fame. In 2004, the Hall changed its rules to allow two Senior Finalists per year instead of one. However, it is notable that since 2010, only once has a Senior Finalist not been elected; that was Lions offensive lineman Dick Stanfel, who fell short of the required votes in 2012 but was re-nominated and elected to the Hall as part of the 2016 class. In 2017, only one Senior Finalist was named and elected: Seahawks safety Kenny Easley.
One of the biggest hurdles to Kramer’s induction into the Hall is now behind him; now he, his family, and Packers fans everywhere will need to wait through this football season to see if he indeed receives the necessary votes for induction.
Joining Kramer as a Senior Finalist this year is linebacker Robert Brazile, who played for the Houston Oilers from 1975 to 1984. Brazile was named first-team All-Pro twice, in 1978 and 1979, and made seven straight Pro Bowls from 1976-82.