Eric Wright gives Bucs a chance to prove things have changed

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As the Buccaneers try to turn the page on a recent past where things were sufficiently loose that even “wild child” Aqib Talib acknowledged they were “a little loose,” the Bucs now have their first real dilemma.

Well, not their first one.  They already had to make a decision on veteran tight end Kellen Winslow, for whom they gave up second-round and fifth-round picks in 2009 and to whom they paid $20 million over three seasons.  Sensing he wasn’t going to fit with the new regime, the Bucs handed him to the Seahawks for a tube of Pringles and a pair of used shoes.

With cornerback Eric Wright, the stake are considerably higher.  Less than four months after luring him from the Lions with a five-year, $38 million contract with $15.5 million guaranteed, Wright has been arrested for drunk driving.

In response, the Bucs have issued the same-old perfunctory statement:  “We are aware of the arrest and are in the process of gathering information. We take such matters very seriously and will handle it appropriately.”  If that’s all they do, the Bucs will be missing a chance to show they are different.

Different from how they’ve been.  Different from other teams, like the one for which Wright most recently played.

Two years ago, the Bucs took a hard line with tight end Jerramy Stevens, cutting him after he was arrested for marijuana possession the night before a home game.  But Stevens at that point was a marginal player.  Wright represents the franchise’s new commitment to spending money.  So he won’t definitely won’t be cut.

But he could be disciplined.  Yeah, the CBA technically says that teams can’t take matters into their own hands.  As a practical matter, they can.  The question then becomes whether Wright would fight it.

Even if he does, a failed effort to punish a player for acting irresponsibly sends a far stronger message to the fan base than no effort at all.

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7 responses to “Eric Wright gives Bucs a chance to prove things have changed

  1. Do contracts like these contain a morals clause? Or does the team lose the whole $15.5 guaranteed money if they cut a new hire?

  2. I’d be perfectly fine if they cut his stupid ass. Seriously, rich people should get 10 times worse penalties for DUIs. I’m not condoning DUI when poorer people do it, but you can make an argument they can’t afford it (of course don’t drink if you have to drive?). But for a guy guarenteed $15 million to not be able to spend a Jackson on a cab is absurd.

  3. If they issue the same-old perfunctory statement expressing concern and withholding further comment pending completion of the judicial proceedings and deferring to the league as to discipline, the Bucs will be missing a chance to show they are different.

    You mean different as in- we’re different because we penalize our players before they are even convicted of anything?

  4. And, of course, you just HAD to show a picture of him in a Lions uniform didn’t you?
    Considering all the Lions hate here this is definitely just par for the course and I can’t say I’m at all surprised. I am a little disappointed and very, very sick of the bias though.

  5. Yeah. Things have drastically changed in Tampa.

    I am sure Raheem Morris is having a chuckle.

  6. Is guaranteed money guaranteed if a dumb ass player does something stupid. If not then the Bucs need to show him the door and set an example of him.
    Usually if a player does something stupid once he is b ound to reapeat stupidity again. Work hard all of your career to get somewhere and then blow it all. How unfortuate. Can’t blame this one on the new coach. I only hope Schiano takes the right approach and nips this in the butt now. Oh and by the way Boo Hoo Lions fans.

  7. “the Bucs took a hard line with tight end Jerramy Stevens.” Say what? He was a known drug user and a hardcore alcoholic and interested in only partying and womanizing and drove drunk into a retirement home building and that was before he was drafted! A hard line would be not drafting or signing him to your team. Wasn’t he a Buc when he became known as a rapist back in his college days? Was he dropped then? No.

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