American Football

Robert Kraft, Stanley Morgan named 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalists


Stanley Morgan runs on the field
Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Hall of Fame announced its semifinalists in the senior and coach/contributor categories on Wednesday.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its first batch of semifinalists for 2024 on Wednesday. A total of 60 seniors, coaches and contributors are therefore another step closer to receiving one of the famed golden jackets.

Among those semifinalists are six men with ties to the New England Patriots, including team owner Robert Kraft and legendary wide receiver Stanley Morgan.

Patriots semifinalists: Seniors

DT Steve McMichael, WR Stanley Morgan, WR Henry Ellard

The name that stands out among this trio is Stanley Morgan, one of the most prolific pass catchers of his era and in Patriots history.

Morgan, 68, arrived in New England as a first-round selection in the 1977 draft and went on to spend 13 seasons with the team. A four-time Pro Bowler and two-time second-team All-Pro, he appeared in 180 games as a Patriot, catching 534 passes for 10,352 yards and 67 touchdowns before a final campaign with the Indianapolis Colts. Morgan was later voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Steven McMichael and Henry Ellard, meanwhile, spent only one season each in New England.

McMichael, 65, joined the team as a third-round selection in the 1980 draft, but spent only one year as a Patriot and was released after six games. He went on to have a highly successful 13-year stint in Chicago, plus an additional season in Green Bay.

Ellard, 61, was in town for half a season in 1998, catching five passes for 86 yards at the tail-end of his career. The former second-round draft pick spent most of his career up until that point in Los Angeles and Washington.

Patriots semifinalists: Coaches/Contributors

Robert Kraft, Francis “Bucko” Kilroy, Marty Schottenheimer

Robert Kraft, 82, has served as owner, chairman and CEO of the Patriots since acquiring the franchise for a then-record $172 million in 1994. Since he took ownership of the club, it has won 67.8 percent of its regular season and playoff games as well as six Super Bowls — tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for most all-time.

Kraft, who had been a season-ticket holder since 1971, received the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award in 2006 and the Pro Football Writers of America’s George Halas Award in 2012.

Kilroy, who died at the age of 86 in 2007, was a two-time NFL champion in the 1940s and later went into scouting. After stints in Philadelphia, Washington and Dallas, he arrived in New England in 1971. Originally serving as director of player personnel, he later also worked as general manager and vice president. He ended his career as a scouting consultant, retiring after the 2006 season.

Schottenheimer, who passed away in 2021 aged 77, has comparatively minor ties to the Patriots — and none through his Hall of Fame-caliber work as a coach. A former linebacker, he spent two seasons with the Boston Patriots and appeared in 23 games between 1969 and 1970.

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