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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Former Buc Wright returns to Tampa



Just two years ago, cornerback Eric Wright was courted by the Bucs, signed to a five-year, $37.5 million deal, and expected to be in Tampa Bay for the long haul.

But after just one disappointing season in which Wright played in just 10 games, including serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy, he was released in July after a voided trade to San Francisco. Wright was still picked up by the 49ers, and will return to Raymond James Stadium for the first time Sunday.

"I know a lot of the guys there, I know the coaching staff and am familiar with some of the things they're doing there," Wright told "Then again, it's a new year, it's a fresh start for them, a new team."

Wright, who came off the reserve/non-football-injury/illness list, has played a reserve role in four games, but came up big in last week's win over Seattle, sealing it with a late interception.

"He made the game-winner," Bucs coach Greg Schiano said.

Wright talked during the spring workouts how much he wanted to return to Tampa Bay, but the San Francisco native has enjoyed being back in his hometown.

"It's been a very positive experience," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "And it's great to see him playing and contributing. He's been a good teammate and blue collar guy and we're excited about the future for him."

Wright said the Bucs have "talent across teh board on both sides of the ball" and lauded his former team for bouncing back after an 0-8 start.

"Those guys work extremely hard and I'm sure they're disappointed in the direction their season has started," Wright said. "But I think they've done a great job of banding together as a team and continuing to battle and fight and you attribute that to just the heart of the guys in the locker room. You can respect that and we know we're going to get their best shot."


[Last modified: Thursday, December 12, 2013 5:08pm]


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