The Bucs announced Friday that they have traded Wright to the San Francisco 49ers for a conditional 2014 draft pick. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that the compensation is a late-round selection, according to a source involved with the negotiations. NFL.com's Albert Breer reported that the Bucs would have released Wright if they didn't find a trade partner.
The trade initially came as a surprise, but it made more sense after NFL.com and NFL Network learned via the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department that Wright was arrested July 12 on a misdemeanor DUI charge. Wright was released on $5,000 bail later that night. His next court date was scheduled for Aug. 7.
Wright's career has been heading in the wrong direction since the moment he landed in Tampa. Signed to a ridiculously expensive five-year, $37.5 million contract in 2012, Wright was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI in Los Angeles last offseason (the case later was dropped) and separately suspended four games for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Those infractions got the Bucs off the hook for Wright's previously guaranteed $7.75 million 2013 salary. Instead, the cornerback was forced to take a huge pay cut to $1.5 million with incentives. The 49ers now inherit that contract.
The trade creates interesting fallout on both teams, especially the 49ers. Cornerback already was a crowded position in San Francisco, with Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver, Carlos Rogers, Nnamdi Asomugha and Perrish Cox, among others.
Rogers, 32, has been a stalwart for the 49ers but has a huge salary-cap figure at $8.1 million. We mentioned Rogers as a potential salary-cap casualty much earlier this offseason, and he might be on the roster bubble. Asomugha also has to wonder if he's a lock to make the team now. He didn't receive any guaranteed money as part of his one-year contract.
UPDATE: Niners general manager Trent Baalke said in a press release that the team did its due diligence in acquiring Wright.
"We are pleased to add Eric to our team," Baalke said. "As an organization, we have done our due diligence and anticipate Eric working hard to contribute to the 49ers."
A team source told Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee that Bucs GM Mark Dominik told Baalke about Wright's recent arrest before the trade was finalized.
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