Eric Wright, cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was arrested Monday July 2, following a car accident allegedly involving alcohol in Los Angeles according to NFL.com. Wright posted $10,000 bond that evening and is scheduled to appear in court on July 23, three days before veteran players are to report to Buccaneers training camp. Depending upon the severity of Wright’s punishment there is a chance that he could miss one if not both of the division games against our Atlanta Falcons. Wright joined Tampa Bay this offseason following a free agent deal that gives him $38 million over 5 years. Last season for the Detroit Lions Wright recorded 67 solo tackles, 16 passes defended, 4 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. In the October 23, game between the Lions and Falcons he was responsible for 4 tackles and 1 interception, not a bad game for a cornerback.
The Buccaneers secondary struggled last season in terms of forcing turnovers; not one Buccaneer matched Wright’s total of 4 interceptions for the season. While not a spectacular player, with one recent game against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense under his belt Eric Wright may have been able to tip the balance of two key divisional games in the favor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His presence could have affected the Falcons playoff run late in the season and prevented them from gaining entry into the playoffs. Without Wright in the lineup the Buccaneers will be forced to rely upon defensive backs that have not performed as well. A weakened defensive secondary may allow the Falcons the opportunity to open the passing game up against the Buccaneers. This could lead to a higher scoring game which I believe benefits the Falcons. The Buccaneers had hoped adding Wright to their secondary would improve the struggling unit, but our Atlanta Falcons may not have to face this cornerback during the 2012 season pending his punishment.
Sources: NFL.com, AtlantaFalcons.com, Buccaneers.com