Sunday, April 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

L.A. district attorney won't file DUI charge against Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Eric Wright

You could argue that no NFL team has had a better offseason than the Bucs.

They hired a tough-nosed coach, signed two of the league's premier free agents, maneuvered to acquire an extra first-round pick in the draft and saw felony charges dismissed against both starting cornerbacks.

The team announced Friday that the Los Angeles County district attorney decided not to file charges against Eric Wright, who was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence July 2.

Wright's attorney, Jeremy I. Lessem, issued a statement saying prosecutors reviewed the case and decided not to file charges.

Last month the Dallas County district attorney dropped charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon against cornerback Aqib Talib.

Wright, who signed a five-year, $37.5 million free agent contract in March, was arrested after he was involved in an accident near the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 12:20 a.m. on July 2. Police said Wright, 26, told them he had been drinking with a friend in Hollywood but refused field sobriety and Breathalyzer tests.

The driver of the other vehicle said he was in pain but refused medical attention, police said. Wright was charged with felony DUI because the accident involved injury, police said.

Wright was released from jail later that day after posting $100,000 bail. He was scheduled for a court appearance July 23, three days before the Bucs report to training camp.

"Eric is glad this is behind him and is eager to begin training camp at the end of the month," Lessem said in the statement.

Wright's arrest could have been the first character test for new coach Greg Schiano, a tough-talking former Rutgers coach who is known as a disciplinarian. He already has released safety Tanard Jackson and traded tight end Kellen Winslow because they didn't buy into his program.

Wright missed most of the offseason workouts and minicamps because of a non-football-related illness. He is expected to start at right cornerback, with 16-year veteran Ronde Barber moving to safety.

Wright was among the Bucs' free agent signings this offseason that included receiver Vincent Jackson and guard Carl Nicks.

Talib was charged with assault with a deadly weapon stemming from his involvement in a shooting March 11, 2011.

Police said he pistol-whipped and fired shots at Shannon Billings, 42, the live-in boyfriend of Talib's sister, Saran, who resides in Garland, Texas. Billings is currently jailed as a repeat sex offender, and Talib's attorney, Frank Perez, said that in reviewing the case, prosecutors did not believe their chief witness would be credible. The charges were dropped June 18.

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