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March 14, 2012 @ 7:22 am
Current rating: 4.50 Stars/2 Votes

Tampa Bay Signs CB Wright To 5-Year Deal

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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The Buccaneers bolstered their secondary with the signing of cornerback Eric Wright. The former Browns and Lions cornerback had four interceptions in Detroit last year and has 14 picks in his five-year NFL career.
Just hours after signing free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson, the Buccaneers continue to add veterans to their team, signing cornerback Eric Wright to a five-year deal.

The Buccaneers could have made a run for Wright in free agency last year, which was flush with cornerbacks, but opted to stick with the cornerbacks that were on the roster. Yet Wright only signed a one-year deal in Detroit and had four interceptions and a forced fumble in 2011. Those four picks matched his career high in Cleveland, where he played the first four years of his NFL career, during the 2009 season.

Wright, who is 26, still has plenty of potential and upside. The 5-foot-10, 196-pound Wright has 13 career interceptions and three forced fumbles.

Arguably no position on the Buccaneers is currently as thin in depth and talent as the current situation at cornerback. Starter Aqib Talib is entering a contract year and has seen his last two seasons end on injured reserve. Complicating matters for the Buccaneers and forcing the team to look towards free agency is the fact that Talib has a grand jury hearing on March 26 for an aggravated assault with a firearm charge that could send him to prison if found guilty.

Talib has a checkered past with the team and the Bucs needed some free agent insurance in case he misses part of the season due to a league suspension for his arrest, or the entire season if he is convicted of his crime.

Fifteen-year veteran Ronde Barber is an unrestricted free agent after signing a one-year deal in 2011 and leading the team with three interceptions. The Bucs have expressed interest in re-signing Barber, but the 36-year old franchise leader in interceptions has yet to decide whether he wants to play one more season or retire.

Elbert Mack, who had two interceptions in 2011, is an unrestricted free agent is expected to sign elsewhere.

The addition of Wright also helps the team’s depth because as of right now, the other rostered cornerbacks are E.J. Biggers, Myron Lewis and Anthony Gaitor.

Lewis, a former third-round pick in 2010, has been a bust. Blessed with plenty of natural attributes, Lewis has been unable to translate them to any sort of semblance of a productive or starting-caliber NFL cornerback and he has been beset with injuries.

Biggers was a liability at times last season in coverage, and one of the poorest tacklers on the team. Depite playing in all 16 games over the past two seasons, Biggers notched just two interceptions over that span and has sub-par ball skills.

Gaitor remains an unknown as he played sparingly in 2011, and lacks ideal size to match up with bigger receivers in the NFL.

To be successful in the pass-happy NFC South division with quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton, the Buccaneers will need to make rebuilding the secondary one of their top priorities. The good news is that Wright’s signing is a step in the right direction.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 07:28
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    I think getting rid of our last defencive coordinator will help all of our DBs. 1. Trent 2. Vontaze 3. on LBs and CBs
  • avatar


    WHAT A TRIO IN JASCKSON-NICKS AND WRIGHT. CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THEY SIGN QB CARR TO B/U FREEMAN, AND BRING A OT , AND A RB ON BOARD. WHAST DO YOU THINK TAMPA WILL DO IN THE DRAFT! I BELIEVE THYE MAY TRADE DOWN AND COLLECT MORE PICKS TO BUILD THE BUCS, ANY NEWS ON LOFTON COMING TO TAMPA! GO BUCS
  • avatar


    Think the problem is Lofton wants too much money!!! would be nice... we will get CB,LB maybe a RB in the draft...thats how you do it...
  • avatar

    No offense other buc fans but I don't like this at all! I read somewhere today that some of the new coaches are considering leaving Mason Foster at middle linebacker! (WHAT) Mason Foster is such a natural OLB why bother doing that! Spend that money on one of the proven middle linbackers still under 30 years old of Turllock or Lofton. Chances we land Claiborne are high, and chances we could land Alfonzo Dennard are high.... The chances of us getting a quality corner in the draft is very probable! We need a legit middle linebacker and I doubt we can get a franchise cornerback and good MLB in the draft while still getting LaMichael! LOFTON LOFTON LOFTON. I have no problem signing Wright but I feel that was a bit pricy when that could have been spent on MLB that were probably not going to focus on in the draft!
  • avatar


    not really an overpay these days...Lions wanted to keep him...Great job not going overboard and we now have two of the best guards in the league...Talib situation will tell us what the 1st pick will be...if he is out Claiborne all the way...Great job bucs just getting solid players.
  • avatar


    @Halifax - They overpaid, but don't forget that they have to, to get people to come here. It's not like the old days when people would take discounts to play for Monte and Gruden; it would have taken an extra five million each to get the other corners away from their preferred destinations. This guy is a titanic upgrade over every other DB on the roster except Ronde and Talib, which means he is a number 3 on most other teams. We'll be facing the spread so much that he's worth it. Remember, we're rebuilding the voluntary rebuilding project they started in 2009, so kudos to the Glazers for doing this time what had to be done. And by getting this done, they could focus on the big coup - Nicks. It's the biggest o-line move since Steve Hutchinson went from the Seahawks to the Vikings, and that completely changed both teams.
  • avatar

    According to the press conference it sounds like Tampa is done with free agency. Guess they are leaving the CB, RB and LB for the draft. Claiborne or Richardson in the first round, OLB Z. Brown or David Lavonte; ILB Dont'a Hightower or Vontaze Burfict in the second round and RB LaMichael James in the third round. Go BUCS!
  • avatar

    Wright will be a fine #2 CB for us. If we get Claiborne, we can either ease him in until he is ready, or we can put him in right away and have Wright be the nickel.
  • avatar

    THE SCOOP For those down on signing CB Eric Wright- here is why it was good. They went after Finnegan. He used them to get the Rams (where his old coach, Fisher, is) to up the ante and he got it. Carr was already done searching and has been in negotiations with Dallas. That left very few good CBs left.------------------------ Plan B was probably Wright. They went after him and got him. The signing is 3 years 15.5 million gaurenteed. The rest of it and the rest of the years does not matter much. He is a good CB who can run and tackle. Yes he missed some tackles, that is because Detroit’s defense was much like the Bucs, ALOT of guys running around in the secondary after getting past their “vaunted D-Line”.---------- Wright is not great, but he is an upgrade and has the potential to be real good. He is better than any CB on the team except Talib, who may or may not play here again. Personally, I see Barber coming back for one more year now. I see Talib cutting axed along with Lewis. Biggers, I am not sure on. He shows flashes and maybe with more discipline he will be good as a backup. The one I have high hopes for is Anthony Gaitor. He has all the tools and is now going to be playing with a great secondary coach from LSU who can teach. he is a year or 2 away though. I still see them drafting Claiborne with pick 5 and thengetting a RB and a LB in rounds 2-3
  • avatar

    Adam Schefter reporting that Wright got a 5 year, 37.5 million with 15.5 guaranteed....if that is correct, I believe the Bucs made a mistake. Could have added 1-1.5 million more/year and gotten Carr, who is a much better corner.
  • avatar

    From what I've read about Carr he had his eyes set on Dallas. I'm not sure Tampa was considered.
  • avatar

    Wow !!! Somebody wake me up as this isn't the Buccaneers I grew up with. Since it appears Chirstmas has arrived I guess I'll continue with My wish list. Veteran LB-like Lofton, Veteran DL, Another CB-Claiborne, Veteran S, Veteran TE-like Bennett, Veteran Back up QB, RB-like Tolbert, and how about a real FB, and my favorite "the winning numbers to tonights powerball". Well atlest get the LB. Great start Bucs. You are definately going to be more fun to watch. Keep up the hard work . GO BUCS!!!
  • avatar


    It seems like, at least with Nicks and V. Jackson, we are spending money on the top guys, which is where value is in free agency. I was terrified that we would spend money on a Mario Manningham or someone like that. With Wright, I am a little more skeptical.
  • avatar

    So far I don't have alot of problems with these new FA's. What I would like to know is where does the team stand with available money for other Fa's and our draft picks?
  • avatar

    They just signed Carl Nicks!!
  • avatar


    Wright will be a pretty good nickel CB. I like the signing. Anybody but Biggers or Lewis. Why is it a forgone conclusion that Mack won't be back? He's an excellent #4 CB (or a good #3 CB) and great special teamer.
  • avatar

    Pinkstob did you just say Nickel corner?, please drink a cup of coffee your not awake yet, lol
  • avatar

    It looks like the Bucs signed Wright to nail down one of the starting CB jobs, but not necessarily as the #1. You can never have too many defensive backs in the pass happy NFL nowdays. I think they'll still look to the draft for more talent at the position. Even if Talib figures into the long term plans (if he's available), Ronde will either retire this year or next and a rookie CB (Claiborne maybe) will still have plenty of playing time. Nickel corners are almost starters now anyway.
  • avatar

    On a very good defense, Wright is a borderline #2 or a solid #3. signing him is a step in the right direction but not a reason to avoid targeting a starting caliber CB in the draft or next offseason. i'm just hoping we did not pay him anywhere near what guys like Carr and Finnegan are demanding
  • avatar


    The upside is there. He's a young guy with starting experience and who has played on some bad teams in the past. He could be a late bloomer. At the very least, we are better today than we were yesterday at our weakest position.
  • avatar


    they're not reaching here, this guy is pretty good. but they still need to sing Rhonde. still not believing whats going on though, do the Glazers still own this team, or did Snyder buy em out while I was asleep. good damn work on the Glazers part IMO.
  • avatar


    He's inconsistent but an upgrade over what we have. If the price is right, it's a pretty descent signing.
  • avatar


    I've heard he gets burned fairly often. Is this guy actual starter material or are they reaching here?
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