A grievance filed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright to challenge the voiding of his contract guarantee for 2013 has been denied, according to a ruling obtained by NFL Network and NFL.com. Shyam Das was the arbitrator in the ruling, which was issued Tuesday.
The Bucs won the ruling, which means they no longer have to pay Wright the $7.75 million guaranteed in his contract for 2013. They also have no obligation to make a decision any time soon, meaning they could let the issue linger until the start of training camp.
Wright was suspended four games during the 2012 season for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. The Bucs believed that because Wright "failed to practice and play," his skill, injury and salary-cap guarantees for 2013 have been rendered "null and void." Wright and the NFL Players Association contend that no provision in the player's contract permits that, saying that only the policy prevented him from practicing. The contract did contain some wiggle room, but the ruling stated "the clause in issue is broadly worded" enough to lead to the ruling.
The sides tried to reach a settlement but could not come to a decision. In the end, the Bucs' stance was upheld.
Representing Wright was Peter Ginsberg and Heath McPhee. The NFL management council was represented by Daniel Nash and W. Buckley Briggs.Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.