The San Francisco 49ers acquired Eric Wright this week in a ho hum move that didn’t cause many waves. Wright, a journeyman second rounder likely will mainly factor in being a training camp hopeful and depth cornerback wasn’t about to make a splash in the news. That is until reports emerged that he got arrested on suspicion of DUI on July 12, days before Tampa Bay shipped him off to the Bay.
Did the 49ers know Wright had been arrested on July 12 for suspicion of DUI?
ProFootballTalk reported that the 49ers have not yet responded to an email seeking comment on the issue late on Friday night, but the timeline was curious enough Reports of the arrest didn’t emerge until after Wright was traded, prompting speculation that someone from the Buccaneers organization explained the decision to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times by pointing out that Wright had been arrested, motivating them to move him out of the Bucs roster.
With the conditional draft pick the Bucs would for Wright depending on Wright making it on to the Niners final roster whether or not the Niners were aware of Wright’s arrest before picking him up and would they use that to justify cutting ties with Wright.
Eventually ProFootballTalk’s late night research paid off and it was disclosed that the Buccaneers were up front with Wright’s arrest. Which makes sense considering Wright’s somewhat lengthy rap sheet of similar transgressions. Wright’s criminal record is not a turn off for the Niners as they needed to bring in a cornerback on the cheap to compete with former Raider Nnamdi Asomugha for the last corner spot at training camp. A player who some teams would shy away from with low value, Wright fits the bill perfectly.
Still given Jim Harbaugh’s comments about Seattle’s PED suspensions it is hypocritical of the 49ers to capitalize on Wright’s recent arrest to bring him on the cheap after getting on their high horses recently. Still it was a slightly entertaining development to watch as people scrambled to find out how much the Niners really knew about Wright’s July 12 arrest.