The NFL is a cutthroat league with as much of a business element as a football-playing element. Teams must dance around a salary cap and collective bargaining rules to field the best team possible, and it can lead to some very “Fortune 500″ style business moves. But does that excuse a lack of integrity?
The Buccaneers may have broken a promise by trading Eric Wright to the San Francisco 49ers on Friday, because it was reported that Wright was promised he would not be tradedafter re-working his deal to stay in Tampa Bay. Wright was suspended in 2012 for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, but it seemed like the team had moved past that and was willing to give Wright one last chance, rather than sending him packing. So was Wright actually promised he would not be traded?
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Buccaneers have been discussing this trade “for a while”:
Is Wright being honest by going public with claims that he would not be traded? He seemed to be very confident of his place in Tampa, which definitely makes the team seem a bit suspect in this case. Business is business, and we’re not privy to the behind the scenes dealings at One Buc Place. And there’s always the possibility that there was a promise broken by Wright this offseason that spurred this move, but that is purely speculative and frankly unfair to the former Bucs’ cornerback.
So who do you side with? Did the Buccaneers break a promise to Eric Wright? Or do you think Wright was overstating the confidence the team expressed in him? Frankly, I am not tempted to completely believe a player who shows this level of loyalty:
Furthermore, it seems this move was simply an effort to get value for a player who was going to be released anyways, as was reported by Albert Breer:
Per source, Buccaneers were planning to cut Eric Wright had they not found a trade partner. — Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 19, 2013
So what do you think? Let us know in the comments.