The San Francisco 49ers impressive defense added another major piece by signing cornerback Eric Wright to a one year contract Thursday. After an extended flirtation between the two parties, the 49ers finally got their man. The depth he brings to the table is worth the risk that comes with bringing in a player carrying his baggage.
A successful cornerback while with the Detroit Lions, Eric Wright cashed in huge with a free agent contract worthy of the elite defensive backs in the league. Joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012, Wright inked a five year, $35.3 million contract. That deal fell through and he was released from the team after an abysmal season a year ago. Pair his huge drop off in performance with a PED related suspension, and Tampa Bay had seen enough to release the talented defensive back.
San Francisco actually attempted to acquire Eric Wright via trade on July 19, however the trade fell through after the cornerback failed his physical.
In joining the 49ers, Wright was placed on the non-football injury/illness list.
A DUI during the offseason also could result in a suspension, however the reigning champions in the NFC West felt bringing in a player with his talent was worth the risk.
“We are pleased to welcome Eric to the 49ers organization and look forward to his contribution. Eric is currently tending to a personal matter and he will join the team as soon as possible.” Trent Baalke said in a team statement.
So far it has been a brutal offseason for the San Francisco 49ers, injuries have decimated their roster before ever taking the field. Receiver has been the hardest hit position, losing Michael Crabtree for the season and exposing a weak spot on their depth chart. Corner has also been hit hard, with the loss of Chris Culliver for the season via an ACL tear.
Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers will be the team’s starting cornerbacks, however with the growing importance of nickleback due to the prominence of the spread offense in today’s NFL, the 49ers brought in a bit more competition by signing Eric Wright Thursday.
Wright will join a competition for the nickleback job that is already pretty packed with talent. Tramaine Brock and newly acquired Nnamdi Asomugha are currently battling for the job. Asomugha was considered to be one of the top defensive backs in the league while with the Oakland Raiders, however he lost a lot of his luster after cashing in with a huge contract of his own in free agency, joining the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 49ers are expected to once again compete for a Super Bowl title, however they have to hope that their corners continue their quality play despite losing Culliver to injury. San Francisco has to hope that Asomugha or Eric Wright can rekindle their past success if they want to reach their lofty goals.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express