Bucs trade Wright to 49ers after DUI charge

Bucs cornerback Eric Wright watches as Cowboys receiver Miles Austin celebrates a 43-yard completion last season.
Bucs cornerback Eric Wright watches as Cowboys receiver Miles Austin celebrates a 43-yard completion last season.
Published July 20, 2013

TAMPA — One week after being arrested in Los Angeles on a charge of suspicion of driving under the influence, Bucs cornerback Eric Wright was traded Friday to the 49ers for a conditional draft pick in 2014.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials confirmed Wright was arrested at 5:15 p.m. July 12 on a misdemeanor DUI after a traffic stop at 30th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard. He was booked into jail and released the next day after posting $5,000 bond.

Upon learning of the arrest, the Bucs were set to release Wright on Friday before finding a trade partner in San Francisco.

"I can assure you the decisions we make as an organization are in the best interest of the team, and therefore we decided to trade Eric Wight, and we're looking forward to the start of training camp and the players we have here," Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said.

"We're excited about the guys we added in the offseason like Darrelle Revis, Johnthan Banks and Dashon Goldson and the players who were already here."

Wright, who turns 28 on Wednesday, was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI near Staples Center last July after being involved in an injury accident, but the case was later dismissed.

The trade ends Wright's brief and bizarre stint with Tampa Bay.

Wright was signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2012 after one season with the Lions, agreeing to a five-year, $37.5 million deal with $15 million guaranteed. But he was suspended four games last season for testing positive for what he claimed was Adderall, a banned substance by the NFL, and wound up voiding $7.5 million in guarantees. Wright appealed the ruling but lost.

Wright, a second-round draft pick out of UNLV by the Browns in 2007, played in only 10 games last season for Tampa Bay, recording 37 tackles and one interception.

The Bucs signed Wright to a one-year restructured deal this spring worth $1.5 million with another $1.5 million in incentives.

Tampa Bay ranked last in the NFL last season in pass defense and attempted to rebuild its secondary in the offseason. The Bucs signed Goldson, a Pro Bowl safety from the 49ers, traded for Revis and used their second-round pick on Mississippi State's Banks, the Thorpe Award winner as the nation's top defensive back.

Wright's trade likely means the Bucs will have to rely on Banks to start opposite Revis, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

Coach Greg Schiano said Thursday that he expects Revis to participate in the first training camp practice next week but says he will be limited.

The Bucs also have cornerbacks Leonard Johnson, Danny Gorrer, Anthony Gaitor and Michael Adams, a free agent who played six seasons in Arizona.

Wright is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 7. His trade by the Bucs caught at least one teammate off guard. "Can't believe this trade and I'm just gonna leave it at that," left tackle Donald Penn tweeted.