Eric Wright Retires from NFL: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIJune 17, 2014

Getty Images

Veteran NFL cornerback Eric Wright announced Tuesday that he is retiring after seven seasons in the league.

Wright, who spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers, broke the news himself over Twitter:

Here is a statement from Wright through his official website:

After seven NFL seasons, I am announcing my retirement from professional football. Playing was the fulfillment of a childhood dream, but as I prepared for the coming season, I realized that I no longer had the same passion I once had for the game. The San Francisco 49ers have given me an amazing opportunity to play for the team I grew up rooting for, and I owe the York family, my coaches, and my teammates tremendous gratitude. I will be forever grateful to all of the franchises I was lucky enough to play for, and look forward to beginning the next phase of my life, and spending more time with my family.'s Matt Maiocco noted that Wright's retirement bears no financial penalty for the Niners:

This move comes as somewhat of a surprise given that Wright is just 28 years old. However, given his declining performance and inability to establish himself in a thin San Francisco secondary, it's probably for the best.

Taylor Price of offered some insight into how the other corners were faring in the Niners' minicamp practice on Tuesday without Wright on the field:

With how often NFL offenses are taking to the air these days, cornerbacks are under as much scrutiny as ever. A promising first three seasons with the Browns suggested that Wright could have become one of the premier players at his position in the years to come.

Unfortunately, that never came to fruition, as Wright struggled in 2010 and then went to Detroit, where he had four interceptions the following season but was still a liability in coverage. That didn't stop the Bucs from forking over a five-year, $37.5 million free-agent contract to acquire Wright before the 2012 campaign.

After he was smacked with a four-game suspension amid another disappointing year, Tampa Bay then tried to trade Wright to San Francisco in 2013 when he didn't live up to expectations. However, he failed a physical and was released thereafter.

The Niners picked Wright up on a one-year deal for this last season, where he registered just seven tackles and one interception in limited action.

For someone so talented, Wright's career trajectory was a disappointment to say the least. It just goes to show how confidence, or lack thereof, can crush a cornerback's swagger. That appears to be what happened to Wright and may have something to do with why he lost his passion for the game.

Wright couldn't have been counted on to right the wrongs that will likely befall the Niners at the cornerback position. San Francisco has some serious work to do in the secondary. Safeties Eric Reid and Antoine Bethea should be a solid tandem, while versatile rookie defensive back Jimmie Ward can chip in, too.

But the team lost both Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers to the Oakland Raiders this offseason. Those were players with prior knowledge of the system whose value would have been significant.

Coach Jim Harbaugh has guided the Niners to the NFC Championship Game in each of his first three seasons, but doing so again will be a tall task. Star linebacker NaVorro Bowman tore his ACL and MCL in the playoff loss to NFC West rival Seattle, putting the vaunted defense in an even more precarious place entering 2014.