Jerry Kramer, Robert Brazile named Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists for 2018

The Pro Football Hall of Fame officially has its first two finalists for the class of 2018. 

The Seniors Committee announced on Thursday that former Packers offensive lineman Jerry Kramer and former Oiler linebacker Robert Brazile have both been named finalists for induction. 

If you've heard Kramer's name associated with the Hall of Fame before, that's because he's been one of the most controversial snubs over the past 44 years. 

The former Packers lineman first became eligible in 1973. Since then, he's been named a finalist a total of 10 times (1974-76, 1978-81, 1984, 1987, 1997), but has never been able to garner the necessary votes to earn induction into Canton. 

Kramer spent 11 seasons playing guard for a Packers team that won a total of five NFL titles during his career. During his 11 years in the league, Kramer was named first-team All-Pro a total of five times. 

The former offensive lineman was also named a Seniors Committee finalist in 1997, but didn't get in. That was the last time that Kramer came anywhere close to earning induction. 

As for Brazile, he has had to deal with the heartbreak of being a finalist 10 times. The former Oilers linebacker, who spent his entire 10-year career in Houston (1975-84), is being named a finalist for the first time. 

The seven-time Pro Bowler was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1975 after the Oilers made him the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft. During Brazile's time with the Oilers, the team went to the playoffs three times and played in two AFC title games. 

Brazile is the only linebacker from the NFL's 1970s All-Decade team who isn't currently in the Hall of Fame

To be inducted, a finalist needs to receive at least 80 percent support from the 48-person selection committee, which will meet on the afternoon of Feb. 3, just hours before the official announcement is made during a television special on NBC.

Kramer and Brazile will be two of 18 finalists for the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame. The two former players will be joined by one contributor finalist and 15 modern-era finalists. Under bylaws of the HOF, a minimum of four people have to be inducted each year, with a maximum of eight.

The 15 modern-era finalists will be announced in January, while the one contributor finalist is expected to be announced some time over the next couple of weeks. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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