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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

CB Wright has likely played his last game for the Bucs

2

January


Barring a change of heart by the organization, CB Eric Wright has likely played his last game for the Buccaneers.

“I can’t tell you what his future is with the Bucs, because that hasn’t been determined yet,’’ coach Greg Schiano said Monday.

But in fact, the Bucs tipped their hand by making Wright inactive for the final regular-season game at Atlanta. Wright practiced all week and was added to the 53-man roster, but the team did not want to risk him becoming injured and eligible for up to $1.5-million in injury protection under the new collective bargaining agreement. A more catastrophic injury that might be career-threatening might have given Wright a claim to his 2013 salary.

Wright signed a five-year, $37.5-million contract as a free agent with the Bucs last March. He had guarantees of $7.25-million in 2012 and $7.75-million in 2013.

But Wright lost $500,000 in workout bonus this year because he failed to attend the required number of days in the off-season. His four-game suspension cost Wright $1.9-million in salary. That reduced Wright’s compensation closer to his real market value of $4.85-million.

But the suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs served as a get-out-of-jail free card for the Bucs, voiding the $7.75-million in guarantees for 2013.

There is no timetable for releasing Wright. At minimum, the Bucs would have to attempt to re-sign him to a lesser contract. But don’t expect the decision to drag on very deep into the off-season. At the end of the day, Wright didn’t fit the profile of a ‘Buccaneer man,’ that Schiano has talked about.

The Bucs hit on Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks in free agency. In this case, two out of three ain’t bad.

 

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:44pm]

    

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