The Detroit Lions' offseason travails have been well-documented, but you can't blame this year's police blotter champs for this one. Former Lions and Cleveland Browns cornerback Eric Wright, who signed a five-year, $38 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March was arrested early Monday morning on suspicion of felony driving under the influence.
Per the L.A. Times, Allen was involved in an injury accident near the Staples Center at about 12:20 a.m. He was driving a Mercedes coupe and rear-ended a Chevy Silverado, causing an injury to the driver and requiring the presence of the L.A. Fire Department. The driver of the truck said he was in pain but refused medical treatment. Wright was unhurt.
Because the accident involved an injury, Wright was booked on the felony, and booked into Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown L.A. in lieu of $100,000 bail. When police arrived, Wright told them that he had been drinking at a friend's house in Hollywood, and refused to submit to a field sobriety or breathalyzer test. He was released later in the morning, according to an NFL.com report.
Selected in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns out of UNLV, Wright played his first four years for Cleveland and signed with the Detroit Lions for the 2011 season. He had a very good season for a bad Lions secondary, grabbing four interceptions, racking up a career-high 17 passes defensed, and forcing a fumble. The Buccaneers signed him as the projected pointman of a defensive backfield that has been giving up big plays for too many years.
This is Wright's first trouble with the law as an NFL player, though his transfer from USC to UNLV in 2005 came in the wake of a rape suspicion and a police report stating that 136 Ecstasy pills were found in his apartment. After holding Wright on $100,000 bond in that case as well, Los Angeles prosecutors chose not to file charges based on insufficient evidence.
"Eric came to the conclusion that it would be in his best interests to withdraw from school," then-USC coach Pete Carroll said at the time. "We agreed and support his decision."
New Bucs head coach Greg Schiano has been preaching responsibility and accountability among his players, trading tight end Kellen Winslow to the Seattle Seahawks for a low draft pick at least in part because Winslow preferred to do offseason workouts away from the team facility. It is unknown how Schiano may want to discipline Wright if the charges prove to be true, and Wright may be subject to sanctions at part of the NFL's personal conduct policy.