Give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers credit for backing up what they say.
Friday’s trade of cornerback Eric Wright to the San Francisco 49ers spoke volumes about the organization. It showed that coach Greg Schiano’s talk of "Buccaneer Men" isn’t just lip service. It also showed that general manager Mark Dominik isn’t afraid to admit when he's made a mistake.
According to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department records, Wright was arrested July 12 in California on an unspecified misdemeanor charge. Even before that, a source said, the team was concerned because Wright wasn’t living up to the standards Schiano expects. The source said the Buccaneers would have released Wright if they hadn’t been able to trade him.
Good for Schiano and good for Dominik.
Schiano has unloaded other players (Aqib Talib, Kellen Winslow and LeGarrette Blount, to name a few) who didn’t conform to his ideals. This is another sign that Schiano is serious about not putting up with nonsense, even from a player with some skills.
Dominik invested $35 million in Wright, who was signed as a free agent in 2012. But Wright ran into trouble almost from the start. He missed part of last year’s offseason program due to an unspecified medical issue and was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The Bucs and Wright agreed in April to restructure his contract. Wright took a pay cut for 2013 from $7.75 million to $1.5 million. The other implied part of the deal was that Wright was down to his last strike.
It appears the arrest was the tipping point. Now, the 49ers will be left to answer questions about a player who has had off-field issues. The Bucs don’t have to do that anymore, because they've washed their hands of Wright.