Eric Wright is headed to the 49ers (USA Today Sports Images)
The San Francisco 49ers announced that they have signed veteran cornerback Eric Wright to a one-year contract and placed him on the "non-football injury" list.
"We are pleased to welcome Eric to the 49ers organization and look forward to his contributions," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement released by the team. "Eric is currently tending to a personal matter and he will join the team as soon as possible."
Thursday's signing comes a little over two weeks after the 28-year-old cornerback failed a physical with the 49ers, voiding a trade the team had made with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that involved a conditional late-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
After the 49ers acquired Wright on July 19, reports surfaced that Wright had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence charges in Los Angeles on July 12. The 49ers have claimed that they knew about the arrest at the time of the trade and left the door open for a signing in the future.
The 49ers are projected to start Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown at cornerback, but Wright could push one of them for a starting job during training camp. Rogers is due $5.75 million in non-guaranteed cash during the 2013 regular season and his roster spot could be in jeopardy. The 49ers, who lost nickel corner Chris Culliver to a torn ACL during training camp, also have Nnamdi Asomugha and Perrish Cox, who are competing for roles in nickel and dime packages.
In addition to his July 12 arrest and injury situation, Wright brings considerable baggage to the 49ers. After signing a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Buccaneers as a free agent last March, Wright was arrested on a suspicion of driving under the influence charge in Los Angeles, which was dismissed. Wright was also suspended four games for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing substances, which voided the guaranteed language on his $7.75 million base salary for the 2013 season.
Wright had an underwhelming performance on the field and likely would have been cut much earlier in the offseason had he not agreed to a $6.25 million pay cut that also tore up the final three years of his contract with the Buccaneers. When the Buccaneers acquired Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets and used a second round pick on Johnathan Banks, Wright became expendable in Tampa Bay and now finds himself in his native Bay Area.
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