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Brian Urlacher is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018

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The retired Bears linebacker is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Hall.

Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images

Only one step remains between Brian Urlacher and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Today, the Hall of Fame announced its 15 finalists for its Class of 2018, and our beloved #54 is among them. Urlacher is one of four finalists in the first year of eligibility, with the final vote coming in Minneapolis February 3, the day before Super Bowl LII.

Urlacher made the list of 108 modern-era nominees in September, and has since been named one of 27 semifinalists, and now a finalist.

The 15 modern-era finalists:

  • Tony Boselli, tackle — Jaguars, 1995-2001; Texans, 2002 (DNP)
  • Isaac Bruce, wide receiver — Rams, 1994-2007; 49ers, 2008-2009
  • Brian Dawkins, safety — Eagles, 1996-2008; Broncos, 2009-2011
  • Alan Faneca, guard — Steelers, 1998-2007; Jets, 2008-2009; Cardinals, 2010
  • Steve Hutchinson, guard — Seahawks, 2001-2005; Vikings, 2006-2011; Titans, 2012
  • Joe Jacoby, tackle — D.C., 1981-1993
  • Edgerrin James, running back — Colts, 1999-2005; Cardinals, 2006-2008; Seahawks, 2009
  • Ty Law, cornerback — Patriots, 1995-2004; Jets, 2005; Chiefs, 2006-2007; Jets, 2008; Broncos, 2009
  • Ray Lewis, linebacker — Ravens, 1996-2012
  • John Lynch, safety — Buccaneers, 1993-2003; Broncos 2004-2007
  • Kevin Mawae, center — Seahawks, 1994-1997; Jets, 1998-2005; Titans, 2006-2009
  • Randy Moss, wide receiver — Vikings, 1998-2004; Raiders, 2005-2006; Patriots, 2007-2010; Vikings, 2010; Titans, 2010; 49ers, 2012
  • Terrell Owens, wide receiver — 49ers, 1996-2003; Eagles, 2004-2005; Cowboys, 2006-2008; Bills, 2009; Bengals, 2010
  • Brian Urlacher, linebacker — Bears, 2000-2012
  • Everson Walls, cornerback — Cowboys, 1981-1989; Giants, 1990-1992; Browns, 1992-1993

The 15 modern-era finalists are joined by two senior finalists and one contributor finalist:

  • Robert Brazile, linebacker — Oilers, 1975-1984 (senior)
  • Jerry Kramer, guard — Packers, 1958-1968 (senior)
  • Bobby Beathard, general manager and personnel administrator (contributor)

Poll

Which of the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 would you vote for FIRST?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Tony Boselli
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Isaac Bruce
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Brian Dawkins
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Alan Faneca
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Steve Hutchinson
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Joe Jacoby
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Edgerrin James
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Ty Law
    (0 votes)
  • 24%
    Ray Lewis
    (70 votes)
  • 1%
    John Lynch
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Kevin Mawae
    (1 vote)
  • 15%
    Randy Moss
    (44 votes)
  • 2%
    Terrell Owens
    (8 votes)
  • 52%
    Brian Urlacher
    (151 votes)
  • 0%
    Everson Walls
    (1 vote)
289 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which of the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 would you vote for SECOND?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Tony Boselli
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    Isaac Bruce
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    Brian Dawkins
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Alan Faneca
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Steve Hutchinson
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Joe Jacoby
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Edgerrin James
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Ty Law
    (1 vote)
  • 33%
    Ray Lewis
    (75 votes)
  • 2%
    John Lynch
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Kevin Mawae
    (2 votes)
  • 23%
    Randy Moss
    (53 votes)
  • 3%
    Terrell Owens
    (7 votes)
  • 24%
    Brian Urlacher
    (54 votes)
  • 0%
    Everson Walls
    (0 votes)
224 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which of the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 would you vote for THIRD?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Tony Boselli
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Isaac Bruce
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Brian Dawkins
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Alan Faneca
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Steve Hutchinson
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Joe Jacoby
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Edgerrin James
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Ty Law
    (3 votes)
  • 16%
    Ray Lewis
    (32 votes)
  • 2%
    John Lynch
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Kevin Mawae
    (3 votes)
  • 30%
    Randy Moss
    (60 votes)
  • 9%
    Terrell Owens
    (18 votes)
  • 27%
    Brian Urlacher
    (55 votes)
  • 0%
    Everson Walls
    (0 votes)
199 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which of the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 would you vote for FOURTH?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Tony Boselli
    (10 votes)
  • 9%
    Isaac Bruce
    (17 votes)
  • 10%
    Brian Dawkins
    (19 votes)
  • 2%
    Alan Faneca
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    Steve Hutchinson
    (10 votes)
  • 3%
    Joe Jacoby
    (7 votes)
  • 3%
    Edgerrin James
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    Ty Law
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Ray Lewis
    (7 votes)
  • 8%
    John Lynch
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    Kevin Mawae
    (5 votes)
  • 12%
    Randy Moss
    (22 votes)
  • 14%
    Terrell Owens
    (26 votes)
  • 12%
    Brian Urlacher
    (22 votes)
  • 0%
    Everson Walls
    (1 vote)
176 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which of the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 would you vote for FIFTH (for your final vote)?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Tony Boselli
    (12 votes)
  • 10%
    Isaac Bruce
    (17 votes)
  • 11%
    Brian Dawkins
    (19 votes)
  • 5%
    Alan Faneca
    (8 votes)
  • 6%
    Steve Hutchinson
    (10 votes)
  • 3%
    Joe Jacoby
    (5 votes)
  • 5%
    Edgerrin James
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    Ty Law
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    Ray Lewis
    (2 votes)
  • 8%
    John Lynch
    (14 votes)
  • 3%
    Kevin Mawae
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    Randy Moss
    (7 votes)
  • 17%
    Terrell Owens
    (28 votes)
  • 9%
    Brian Urlacher
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    Everson Walls
    (1 vote)
159 votes total Vote Now

What’s next

On Feb. 3, the 48-person selection committee will cut the list of 15 finalists down to 10, and then again from 10 to five. Each committee member will then vote either “yes” or “no” to the five remaining candidates; the candidates with 80% “yes” votes are in the Hall of Fame.

Here is a full rundown on the selection process.

The selection committee consists of one representative per NFL city per team, plus another 16 at-large selectors. Chicago’s representative is Dan Pompei of The Athletic.

Since the selection of a player comes down to debates among the members of the selection committee, an endorsement from the city’s representative is critical for induction — in this case, Pompei.

And since Pompei has written that he believes Urlacher “looks like” a 1st ballot Hall of Famer, I think the odds are high that Pompei will go to bat for Urlacher on Selection Saturday.

I will have a full breakdown of Urlacher’s odds next week. One thing voters will consider is how he stacks up against fellow middle linebacker Ray Lewis. My breakdown of that matchup is here:

As I wrote in that story, there were seven semifinalists who could potentially block Urlacher from being a 1st ballot Hall of Famer. Six made it to the final 15: Lewis, Moss, Owens, Faneca, Jacoby, Boselli.

I think Urlacher is going to be elected 1st ballot. On February 3, we’ll have our answer.

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Jack M Silverstein is WCG’s Bears historian, and author of “How The GOAT Was Built: 6 Life Lessons From the 1996 Chicago Bulls.” Say hey at @readjack.