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July 19, 2013 @ 4:59 pm
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PR Analysis: Inside The Wright Trade

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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What factors led Bucs general manager Mark Dominik to trade troubled cornerback Eric Wright to the 49ers? Which cornerbacks are now in contention to start in place of Wright? Get the answers in this Pewter Report Analysis article by Scott Reynolds.
In time, Johnthan Banks and Leonard Johnson might be better players than cornerback Eric Wright, who was surprisingly traded from Tampa Bay to San Francisco on Friday for a conditional draft pick in 2014. But they have already proven to be more trust worthy to the Buccaneers organization than Wright has.

Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik was prepared to release Wright due to an alleged misdemeanor arrest on July 12 in Los Angeles, but luckily found a trade partner in San Francisco at the last minute. Dominik was smart enough to do the same thing last year when he traded away tight end Kellen Winslow and defensive tackle Brian Price for late-round draft picks just before cutting them. One can presume the conditional draft choice obtained for Wright is a sixth- or seventh-rounder from the 49ers.

Since becoming a Buccaneer in March of 2012 Wright was arrested on suspicion of a DUI last summer (charges were later dropped), and was also suspended four games last year for using the performance-enhancing drug Adderall. That suspension cost Wright millions as it voided the guaranteed money in his contract in 2013 and allowed Dominik to account for his mistake in giving the free agent cornerback a five-year, $37.5-million deal that was too hefty.

Wright agreed to a restructuring that trimmed his contract to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million and was expected to be a starter in base or nickel defense given his experience. But a second arrest as a Buccaneer rightly prompted Dominik to release him.

Simply put, Wright was not a Buccaneer man in the mold that Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano want within their organization.

While Wright’s exodus takes away some experience from Tampa Bay’s secondary, the Bucs still like their group of cornerbacks, which is headlined by the acquisition of four-time Pro Bowler Darrelle Revis. All indications point to Revis, the game’s premier shutdown cornerback, being able to participate in the opening day from training camp on July 25 as his rehabilitation on his surgically repaired knee is almost complete.

Banks, who was added in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, will get the chance to battle Johnson, an undrafted free agent who was signed in 2012, for the right to start opposite Revis. Banks has been drawing rave reviews for his performance in Tampa Bay’s OTAs (organized team activities) and mini-camps in which he has quickly digested the defense and made a few splash plays while playing more like a veteran than a rookie.

“He showed skills and he showed ability,” Bucs head coach Greg Schiano said. “The important thing now is where you get repetition right? Because training camp is day after day after day, that’s where you can really make huge improvements. In the spring you go, then you are off, then you go, then you are off – that kind of deal.  So this is where rookies really make their fastest transition and I’m sure he will. He works very hard and he’s talented.”

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Banks recorded 221 tackles, 26 pass breakups, 16 interceptions, including three returned for touchdowns, and five forced fumbles in his illustrious Mississippi State career.

Prior to Wright’s departure on Friday, Banks addressed the media a day earlier after a rookie orientation practice at One Buc Place and discussed his chances of earning a starting spot on Tampa Bay’s defense.

“They aren’t just going to throw me in the fire,” Banks said cryptically. “They aren’t just going to give me a job. I am going have to work for it. If I want a job I’m going to have to come out here and work just like they do. They aren’t just going to give me the job. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then I will just play my role and try and help this team win.”

Wright’s departure will absolutely throw Banks into the fire. Banks’ primary competition will come from Johnson, who came on during the second half of his rookie season and finished second on the team with three interceptions, including one he returned 83 yards for a game-clinching touchdown in a 34-24 win over San Diego. The playmaking rookie from Clearwater, Fla. also had 41 tackles, nine pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his initial season in the NFL.

By comparison, Wright recorded just 37 tackles, seven pass breakups, one interception that was returned for a touchdown against New York, and a fumble recovery against Dallas in his first and only disappointing season in Tampa Bay, while missing six games due to injury or suspension.

As insurance in case something like Wright’s summertime arrest happened, which it did, Dominik took the security measure of signing veteran nickel cornerback Mike Adams at the conclusion of the team’s mandatory mini-camp. The 5-foot-8, 181-pound Adams, who is entering his seventh year in the league, has 165 tackles, 18 passes defensed, four fumble recoveries, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles in his six years with the Arizona Cardinals.

The 28-year old Adams will also get the chance to be in the mix to start in base, nickel and dime defensive packages. Tampa Bay also likes Danny Gorrer and undrafted rookie Rashaan Melvin, who will also figure in the mix for the Bucs’ nickel cornerback job.

Last modified on Friday, 19 July 2013 17:22

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  • avatar

    there's still one mr. ronde barber lingering around the tampa bay area to help with any depth concerns, i would be okay with him jumping onto the roster after the dog days of training camp are through. i still think he has 2+ productive years in him as a slot and situational CB
  • avatar

    excal78. On Talib. Some players help build teams and have excellent chances for a shot at Canton. Some come in and ride an already "in motion" train and then fade away. Our Super bowl winning team was packed with "Builders" Just saying.
  • avatar

    I was not a fan of the Revis trade in the beginning, but in hindsight it is starting to sound like they had to do this. I agree with trying to rid the team of bad character guys like Talib, Winslow and now Wright. This year's success or failure is going to come down to primarily Freeman, defensive line pressure and Revis returning to pro bowl form. So good bye Wright, we don't need you
  • avatar

    The problem with this move is not that they got rid of Wright - clearly a basket case - it is that Dom and Schiano must have known they would be getting rid of Wright (ie, that Wright had only one chance left until they were cutting him and a guy this messed-up was going to mess up again soon). So, why didn't they have a better back-up plan than to put a rookie at cb2 and a bunch of UDFAs (most of which formed the second worst secondary in league history last year) behind the rookie? Why - if they must have known this day was coming sooner rather than later - didn't they sign a Derek Cox or someone to play across from Revis - because whoever plays across from Revis is going to be busy and having that be a rookie is not a good plan B.
  • avatar

    All in all I have two things to say about E. Wright. First, I never saw his ability as anything more than a solid nickel CB from the day we signed him. I thought it was a ridiculous amount to pay for a nickel CB but at the time I figured we would draft Claiborne and pair him with Aqib to have a solid trio of CB's. It's 15 months later and none of them are on the team. Although Dominik makes some great moves we can charge Wright as another very stupid move by him. The second thing I want to say is I think we are the same as we were a week ago talent-wise at CB, we just have less depth. L. Johnson may be slower than Wright, put he doesn't play like it (kind of like Ronde). Gaitor and Gorrer may also be able to step up since they actually have experience and a good DB coach now.
  • avatar

    iabucfan... IMO Mike Adams is to small. Did you ever hear of Mike Adams before? We are playing some top receivers this year I believe his size will be a problem.
  • avatar

    Never heard of him and never will again....
  • avatar

    Too immature to handle the leadership role. Too immature to stay out of trouble. Bucs are looking for mature players and that's a good thing!
  • avatar

    Eric has become a lost cause. Given every opportunity he has come up short. The Buccaneers will be better without him. Hopefully, Eric will turn his life around because his chances are just about done in the NFL and his decisions lead me to believe his money and moral compass will run out quickly after he is out of the league if it hasn't already. Glad he is someone else's problem.
  • avatar

    Ronde come back :(
  • avatar

    This had to be done but Dominic please use your discretion a little better when evaluating free agent talent from now on!! This was a bad decision and everyone had a bad feeling from the start!!
  • avatar

    WoW! Some guys never never learn. What a waste of an opportunity, yet he goes the 49'ers. I suspect his lack of judgement will ultimately lead to his demise....For the BUCS, another opportunity to let the young guys get playing time and develop quicker. I still think we will be okay. The BUCS certainly do not need his kind of influence and attitude infecting the locker room.
  • avatar

    Playing here is not for every one. Ask Aquib Talib.
  • avatar

    Now Aquib Talib is on a playoff team. It worked out for him very well.
  • avatar

    Not picking up another CB in F/A was a huge mistake. Going into the season with a CB coming off an ACL and average CB's for depth spells getting beat deep again like we did last year. The Secondary just became a weakness again. I guess Dom. has to look in the bargain basement AGAIN!
  • avatar

    KINDERRT, what about 7th year CB Michael Adams?
  • avatar

    Somehow this can all be traced back to Myron Lewis, the cat with 9 lives...
  • avatar

    I forgot where I saw it, but there was an article the other day claiming Dashon Goldson was really just another SS playing FS. They were saying Goldson has always played well near the line of scrimmage and is known for his hits, but has always lacked coverage ability. So in essence, the article is saying the Bucs are going to be torched over the deep middle all season because theres no reason to throw near Revis. With that being said, I agree Revis won't be tested too often and Schiano is going to gear Goldson over top of Banks most plays and leave Barron in the box. Hopefully it doesn't all backfire...
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