So why did Bucs cornerback Eric Wright agree to reduce his salary from $7.5 million to $1.5 million?
Apart from the fact that no one was likely to pay him more than that, the revised contract reveals that the Bucs ripped up the final three years of his original five-year deal, which means he’ll become a free agent in 2014.
The deal also gives the Bucs flexibility; they can cut Wright and owe him nothing because none of the money is guaranteed.
If he makes the team, he can make another $1.5 million in so-called “not likely to be earned incentives” tied to factors including playing time, wins, and qualifying for the playoffs.
Tampa Bay’s leverage to re-do the deal came from the voiding of Wright’s guaranteed salary of $7.5 million in 2013, thanks to his four-game suspension for Adderall use in 2012.