The 49ers once again have a defensive back named Eric Wright. But in the wake of the move that sent the well-traveled second-round pick (who also has played for the Browns and Lions) from Tampa to San Francisco, an intriguing question has emerged.
Did the 49ers know Wright had been arrested on July 12 for suspicion of DUI?
The 49ers have not yet responded to an email seeking comment on the issue, but the timeline seems curious, to say the least. Reports of the arrest didn’t emerge until after Wright was traded, prompting speculation that someone from the Buccaneers organization explained the decision to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times by pointing out that Wright, who was essentially on double-secret probation with the Bucs, had been arrested.
Already, the league is buzzing with speculation that the Niners didn’t know. Still, it would be a no-harm, no-foul situation, if the conditional draft pick the Bucs would for Wright depends on Wright making it on to the San Fran 53-man roster. The 49ers could simply say they were duped and cut Wright, owing him and the Bucs nothing. (Or the 49ers could simply determine that Wright failed his physical.)
If the 49ers knew about and/or aren’t troubled by the news that Wright, who has had multiple off-field issues during his post-high school football career, has been arrested for suspicion of DUI a year after being arrested for DUI and having the charges dropped, Wright and veteran Nnamdi Asomugha could end up competing for the same roster spot. Though Wright could emerge as the better player, Asomugha clearly is the better person.
That’s an important point the the 49ers to consider as they attempt to build a championship-caliber team, and as the roster quietly harbors an alarming number of players who have a knack for finding trouble away from the gridiron.