For a day, Eric Wright was a member of the San Francisco 49ers after being acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a late-round draft pick.
Then, the reports came out about a recent arrest for DUI. Then, he failed his physical and the trade was voided.
Questions immediately began swirling around the 49ers and GM Trent Baalke.
Did they know about Wright’s DUI arrest a few weeks ago in Los Angeles? Were they aware of Wright’s history and physical condition?
Baalke spoke publicly on Tuesday for the first time since the trade, and had this to say.
We absolutely knew about Wright. We were aware of [his DUI] and the Buccaneers were forthcoming with it. They knew what the status was.
(DUIs) are always a red flag. Once again, I’d ask you guys to do your due diligence as well and find out the facts surrounding it. Certainly, it’s a red flag, but I don’t think what’s being reported is really the facts around it.
And his comments on the failed physical:
We don’t get into why a player failed or passed a physical. Our medical staff just felt he wasn’t ready on the field and didn’t pass him. There’s a possibility of him becoming a 49er, but it’s not now.
That’s right, there is a chance that the 49ers revisit the deal and bring him in again.
“The door is never closed on players,” Baalke said. “With respect to Eric, there’s always a possibility that he becomes a Niner at some point. Just not now. … All the work we did and the discussion that we had with Eric when he came in here was very positive. There were some concerns. We addressed the concerns, but once again he’s not with us. We’d rather talk about the guys that are here.”
A six-year veteran, Wright was drafted in the second round in 2007 by the Browns and spent his first four seasons in Cleveland. The cornerback played for the Detroit Lions in 2011 before signing a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Buccaneers.
Last season, Wright recorded 37 tackles, no sacks, one interception, one fumble recovery, and one touchdown in 10 games.
Over his career, the 27-year-old Wright has 360 tackles, 14 interceptions, and one sack in 85 games played.