Kraft among Hall of Fame nominees

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots owner Robert Kraft is among the nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013, it was announced today.

Kraft, who is widely viewed as one of the NFL's most influential owners, was credited by players for having a major role in ending the league's labor dispute in 2011. He finds himself among a group of 127 nominees, and falls into the "contributors" category.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates who advance as semifinalist nominees. That group of 25 will be announced in late November.

In early January, the list of 25 will be narrowed to 15 modern-era finalists, via a mail ballot.

The Class of 2013 will be selected from the list of 15 modern-era finalists plus senior nominees Curley Culp and Dave Robinson. The voting will take place Feb. 2, 2013, and between 4-7 new members will be selected.

Others with Patriots ties on the list of 127 nominees include nose tackle Ted Washington (2003), quarterback Drew Bledsoe (1993-2001), receiver Stanley Morgan (1977-1989), tight end Ben Coates (1991-1999), defensive lineman Fred Smerlas (1991-1992) and coach Bill Parcells (1993-1996).