Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher selected as a Hall of Fame finalist for 2018

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 25: Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears stares down the offense during an NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 25, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — One of the greatest players in the late generation of the Bears’ franchise is one step closer to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On Tuesday night, linebacker Brian Urlacher was named a finalist for the Class of 2018. He’s one of 15 who will be up for enshrinement this year after he got through the cutdown from 27 semifinalists for the Hall of Fame.

The final vote will be announced at the NFL Awards in Minneapolis on February 3rd.

A finalist on his first ballot, Urlacher played for the Bears from 2000-2012 and was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times in his career. After being drafted ninth overall in the previous spring’s draft, the linebacker was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2000 and was named the overall player of the year on the defensive side of the ball in 2005.

That was one of the four years in which Urlacher was a first-team All-Pro selection while also being a second team pick in 2010. That year the linebacker helped the Bears to their fourth playoff appearance in his tenure, aiding the team’s run to the NFC Championship game.

The Bears won the NFC Central/North Division that year and three other times with Urlacher in the lineup and in 2006 won the NFC Championship and a spot in Super Bowl XLI.