Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Why Haven't The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cut Eric Wright Yet? They're Trying to Trade Him.

One of the most frequent questions that journalists who cover the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receive is “Why is Eric Wright still on the team?” Most fans consider it a foregone conclusion that the troubled cornerback will find his way out of town soon enough, and would rather see the increased cap space than see Wright occupying a roster spot he’s unlikely to hold in August. Wright performed poorly when he was on the field in 2013, and showed no signs of being worth the 7.75 million dollar salary he is due this upcoming season.

But Mark Dominik has an even better plan… if it works.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Buccaneers are attempting to trade the troubled cornerback, in hopes that they can snatch some value out of the disappointing 2012 signing. If Mark Dominik is able to find a suitor for Wright, it would be one of the most brilliant pieces of business in NFL history. Wright was once seen as a talented player who could blossom into a star, but off the field issues and other concerns about his intangibles caused him to have a negative perception on draft day, and as a free agent. He’s now making more than he’s worth, and has an injury history.

So will Mark Dominik be able to get any value out of Eric Wright? It’s extremely unlikely, but the Buccaneers will handle this trade much differently than the Jets are handling the Darrelle Revis trade. They will allow teams to talk to Wright, and see if he’s willing to work out a contract restructure. They’ll take any draft picks they can get, and hope for the best. The most likely scenario is that no team is going to want him at full cost, and that Wright would prefer to test the open market on his own, rather than have his next team be dictated by the Buccaneers.

So rest your weary typing fingers, Buccaneers’ fans. Eric Wright is not going to be a Buccaneer in the 2013 NFL Season. Mark Dominik is just trying to get as much value as he can out of a mistaken 2012 signing.

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  • RussMillerWY

    This is why no one offered anything for Matt Cassel, either. When everyone believes you’re going to cut somebody, there’s no incentive to trade for an expensive contract. Sure, the trading partner could ask Wright to renegotiate for lower pay (quite a different scenario than Revis being offered HIGHER pay, huh?), but he has no incentive to renegotiate unless he’s being traded to his dream team and dream starting job. Even then, why not just allow himself to be cut and then let whatever teams like him compete for his services?

    I’m a little cross, as usual, when one “off field issue” is written about vaguely, and in the plural, when this player has only made one relatively minor mis-step in his entire career. I don’t want to sound like his agent or anything, but if accuracy in journalism should be the norm, why not be accurate? One of the BEST things about you, Leo, is that you don’t like to swim in the gutter with the exaggeration-addicted gossips.

    And, yes, there is still a very strong possibility that whoever the Bucs sign or draft this year to start at corner will have worse luck than Wright did last year. It’s the Bucs’ pass defense strategy that’s FUBAR, not the fault of any individual player (particularly an injured one) that they couldn’t devise a strategy that made pass defense a priority. The Bucs defense last season was designed to stop the run cold and hope their opponents wouldn’t remember that they could pass.

    • Leo

      I had a big long reply posted, and the system declined it. Here’s the short version.

      Suffice it to say that Wright has an extremely checkered past. Rape charges, drug charges, felony DUI, and the suspension. He didn’t make “one minor misstep.” He has faced multiple felonies. Every major media outlet generalizes him as an “off-the-field” concern because that’s exactly what he is. These aren’t rumors. It’s not that he just has a bad attitude. He’s gotten himself into serious trouble more than once. So it’s reasonable to say that his history plays a role in this.

      I am not trying to dig up the guys past just to bury him, so i didn’t just bring up every charge he’s faced. But instead I generalize and assume that most anyone would understand I am referring to his previous mistakes as it relates to his present situation. It would be one thing if all the concerns were behind us. But he’s had a felony charged against him and an NFL suspension for using a drug he’s not authorized to use in the past 10 months. That’s a concern.

    • Leo

      Furthermore, 8 mil is too much for a guy who can’t stand out on a defense like this. He was a part of the problem. Not the solution. Ronde Barber did just fine when he played defensive back in this frustrating system. Wright was nowhere near that competent. He doesn’t deserve his salary.

    • Leo

      I appreciate your comments and hope you continue reading. I don’t think I treated Wright unfairly in this article, though, and stand behind my thoughts on his legal concerns. You are more than welcome to disagree, and I would not disrespect you for it.