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Brian Urlacher worthy of first-ballot Hall of Fame selection

Former Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will face stiff competition to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2018, but Urlacher’s illustrious 13-year career is worthy of enshrinement in Canton.

Aside from Baltimore’s Ray Lewis — another first-ballot candidate — Urlacher’s credentials compare favorably to other contenders.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee can let in a maximum of five modern-day candidates each year. The Hall of Fame requires 80 percent approval for enshrinement. The Packers need a boost to their running game. Even though they like what converted receiver Ty Montgomery showed after his midseason position switch, he’s the only halfback under contract for next season.

The amount it would cost to retain Ingram for a season will depend on if he’s designated a linebacker or a defensive end. ESPN’s John Clayton projects a franchise-tag designation of $15,287,383 for linebackers and $16,988,266 for defensive ends, with a projected salary cap of $168 million.

The problem for the Chargers would be the cap hit the team would take if Ingram signed the franchise tender. The Chargers have roughly $20 million in cap space, and all of Ingram’s salary would be designated toward this year’s cap.

So it would be beneficial for the Chargers to get a long-term deal done with Ingram to lower his cap number.

According to the NFL Players Association database, Ingram is represented at Roc Nation Sports by Kim Miale, Ari Nissim and John Thornton.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert provides all the pertinent information on the franchise tag here.

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