Cornerback Eric Wright, who was thought by many to be on his way out of Tampa Bay, will remain with the Buccaneers for another season.
Wright has restructured his contract, the team announced Tuesday evening. The new terms of the deal weren’t released, but it’s safe to assume Wright took a significant pay cut from the $7.75 million he was supposed to make under the terms of the old contract.
When Wright signed as a free agent in 2012, the first two years of his contract were supposed to be guaranteed. But the guarantee for 2013 voided when Wright served a four-game suspension last season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Wright’s suspension and the fact the Bucs held him out of the regular-season finale gave many the impression that he would be released. But, in the end, the Bucs decided Wright was worth keeping around at a reduced rate.
There’s a reason for that. The Bucs ranked last in the league in pass defense last year and they desperately need help at cornerback. Although Wright’s play wasn’t great last year, he’s something of a proven commodity. That’s more than can be said of any other cornerback on Tampa Bay’s roster at the moment.
But that could change.
Even with Wright’s restructure, it still remains very possible the Bucs will attempt to work out a trade with the New York Jets for cornerback Darrelle Revis. It’s also possible the Bucs could draft a cornerback early. It also remains possible safety/cornerback Ronde Barber could decide to play another season rather than retire.
In the modern NFL, you need at least three cornerbacks capable of starting. With Wright, the Bucs still only have one.