Niners’ acquisition of Wright underscores importance of cornerbacks


The 49ers gave Eric Wright his latest second chance for the same reason the Bucs gave him so many.  Wright plays cornerback, a position of increasing importance as the run-pass pendulum swings more and more toward seven-on-seven in pads.

The Buccaneers, who signed Wright to a five-year, $35.7 million deal last year in large part because of the position he plays, escaped $7.75 million in guaranteed pay for 2013 after his Adderall suspension and then converted the remaining four years into a one-season, $1.5 million deal.  After Wright’s latest off-field incident, coach Greg Schiano had no options.  If he didn’t move on from Wright, Schiano’s effort to infuse into the locker room a higher degree of discipline would have been undermined, severely.

The Bucs have now taken the risk that so many teams who give skilled players multiple second chances prefer to avoid.  Specifically, the Buccaneers’ decision to dump Wright for a conditional draft pick could provide the wake up call that the player, a second-round pick six years ago, desperately needs.

The willingness of the 49ers to trade for Wright, whose indiscretions include the very type of PED suspension for which coach Jim Harbaugh needled the Seahawks last month, underscores the importance of the position.  G.M. Trent Baalke, who has a reputation in league circles for being willing to round up talented receivers and cornerbacks, didn’t hesitate to welcome Wright onto the team, warts and all.  (It doesn’t hurt that offensive consultant Eric Mangini coached Wright for two seasons in Cleveland.

If/when Wright passes his physical, the 49ers will have nine players at perhaps their biggest position of weakness.  And at $1.5 million for 2013, Wright would be a bargain if he makes it onto the final roster.

Cornerbacks take on an even greater importance in the NFC West, given the pass catchers now possessed by Seattle, St. Louis, and Arizona.  If being run out of Tampa and sent to a Super Bowl contender gets Wright’s attention, he could help the 49ers become the first team since the 1972 Dolphins to follow a Super Bowl loss with a Super Bowl win.

15 responses to “Niners’ acquisition of Wright underscores importance of cornerbacks

  1. It’s intriguing that the 49ers don’t receive even half the flak the Patriots do when they trade for or sign turds like Eric Wright. And make no mistake, Wright is a grade-A turd.

    Even in his best game as a Buc, when he picked six Eli Manning in one of the best interceptions I’ve ever seen, he was still torched repeatedly by Cruz and Nicks. Now that I think of it, Aqib Talib was still a Buccaneer during that game and he was also torched, but Wright was the Bucs second best CB to Talib, so maybe the Pats take more flak because they target the better turds of the bunch.

    Kudos to the Bucs for flushing out all the turds from the team over the last two years; Kellen Winslow, Tanard Jackson, Aqib Talib, and now Eric Wright. Even LaGarrette Blount, a player who isn’t a turd but didn’t seem to buy into the new system was also shipped out of town.

    The 49ers have a stronger team right now, but make no mistake; the Buccaneers will be a dangerous team this season and will not stand for malcontents.

  2. Wright is a terrible corner anyway – graded 77th out of 85 or so starting cornerbacks in coverage.

    NFC West Rival teams are celebrating!

    Can’t wait to watch Tavon Austin as well as Percy Harvin smoke this dude repeatedly

  3. NFC West Rivals celebrating? Celebrating what? 49ers are still back to back NFC West champs and they’re not digressing. If you think Tavon Austin as a rookie is going to kill the 49ers, go ahead and put all your eggs in one basket because he hasn’t proven anything in the NFL. As for Percy Harvin, he hasn’t proven anything yet with the Seahawks. Until they play the game then it’s wait and see. The 49ers aren’t going nowhere but up. Good luck when your team goes up against them.

  4. People who keep bemoaning about the 49ers TRADING for a player who was caught using PEDs is different than having CURRENT players on your roster who have been under the influence of that team’s culture and environment getting caught for PEDs. It doesn’t make his use any different or somehow more appropriate but know the categorical differences over the argument you’re trying to put forth namely if CURRENT 49ers start getting hammered with PEDs then, yes, of course….that’s very good reason to get your underwear in a bind.

  5. So, why do I think if it were the Lions or the Bengals picking up this guy the headline of the article wouldn’t be: “Niners’ acquisition of Wright underscores importance of cornerbacks”, but more on the lines of, “Lions/Bengals acquisition of Wright underscores character issues that plague organization…”

  6. Doesn’t really pertain to the NINERS if he used a ped before the acquisition… It’s weather or not he doesn’t do dumb stuff while on this team! And this is a 49er article has nothing to do with seahawks.. They haven’t won anything anyway.. Haters… GO NINERS

  7. So from the perspective of the 49ers….

    Does this mean that Nnamdi Asomugha is washed up and not worth the non guaranteed money contract that he signed? If so then the Raiders stepped away from Nnamdi at the perfect time.

    Or are the 49ers thinking that Nnamdi will become a mentor and guide for Eric Write and keep him out of trouble? Nnamdi is an outstanding individual and a pillar of the community, who routinely spends his own money to mentor the youth.

  8. Job security changes perspective, and Wright just lost his. Just like at WR the 9ers have loaded up at CB with talented guys, each with a story and a probability. They are going to go at each other for a month, and a very talented staff of teacher/coaches will evaluate them and coach up the survivors. Welcome to the pool Eric.

  9. To the Niners fans attempting to differentiate themselves form the Seahawks substance issues by claiming Wright was caught before joining the team, you’re right: Carrol recruited players that LATER were caught using an inappropriate substance – Harbaugh just HIRED a KNOWN and CONFIRMED user. By anyone’s definition…that is hypocrisy!

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