Eric Wright was arrested on a misdemeanor two weeks ago, as reported by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, which may have prompted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to trade him. The arrest was for a DUI, per Max Luckan, which was Wright's second DUI arrest with the team -- although the first was dismissed last year. According to Rick Stroud, the Buccaneers would have released the cornerback had they not found a trading partner.
According to Ira Kaufman he was "never going to be a Buccaneer Man". Maybe that's true, but he was still a good cornerback. And, of course, this makes signing him last season a lot more difficult to understand. Wright's contract was heavily criticized at the time, as it guaranteed the cornerback some $16 million and could have seen him earn $37.5 million over five years.
That contract was salvaged a little from the Bucs' perspective when the remaining guarantees voided with his suspension and they instead re-signed him to a cheap, one-year, $1.5 milion contract. That number now comes off the books for Tampa Bay.
But, apparently, the Bucs didn't research Wright's fit with the team when they signed him -- or failed to do a thorough job at it, at least. A suspension, nagging injuries, a dismissed DUI and now another arrest have plagued Wright's career with Tampa Bay. With the benefit of hindsight, Wright seems a pretty weird fit for a disciplinarian head coach who ran multiple players out of town in his first offseason for not fitting his view of "Buccaneer Men".
Eric Wright's release makes a little more sense with those details, but the fact remains that the Bucs are now a significantly worse football team. Rookie Johnthan Banks will almost certainly be thrust into the starting lineup, while the nickel job is likely to be taken by second-year undrafted free agent Leonard Johnson. Once again, for what seems like the 8th consecutive season, the Buccaneers have depth issues at cornerback.
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