When Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright recently returned from a suspension and faced a fairly aggressive grilling from the local media without a lifeline from the team’s P.R. department, the speculation commenced that the Bucs have decided to move on from one of the three prized members of their free-agent class of 2012.
Earlier this week, the folks at PewterReport.com said that, indeed, Wright likely will be cut before the Bucs launch their offseason workout sessions in April.
And the Bucs can do it while also saving $7.75 million. Before Wright’s four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy regarding performance-enhancing drugs (reportedly, amphetamines contained in Adderall), Wright’s 2013 salary of $7.75 million for next season was fully guaranteed. The suspension, we’ve confirmed, voids the guarantee completely.
Of course, the guarantee could become guaranteed again if Wright shows up for offseason workouts and, for example, drops a weight on his foot or pops an Achilles while running at the practice facility. That’s why it’ll be important to cut him before he has the ability to show up and work out, in any way.
Wright already lost $1.7 million during his suspension.
But it was more than the suspension that apparently is driving the Bucs to move on. Wright had some sort of illness during the 2012 offseason, which impacted his ability to prepare for his first season with the team. Then, he was arrested for suspicion of DUI; even though the charges were dropped, it raised more suspicions about whether the Bucs did the right thing.Now, thanks to the term nullifying the guarantee, the Bucs are able to walk away, with only (only?) $5.54 million invested in Wright.The separate question is whether they do him a favor and cut him before the free-agency market opens in March, or whether they try to trade him. As to the latter possibility, we can’t imagine anyone agreeing to pay him $7.75 million in 2013.