On Friday, in a move that surprised many, the San Francisco 49ers acquired cornerback Eric Wright in a trade from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As was reported by the NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport, the 49ers gave up a conditional 2014 NFL Draft pick, expected to be a late-round pick.
While trading Wright came as a surprise to many, including myself, it is being reported that ever since the Buccaneers signed Darrelle Revis, they had been looking to get rid of Wright — either via trade or release him within the next week. For the 49ers, the acquisition of Wright means that the team adds another cornerback into the mix and signals that a major decision will be made as to who is on the roster prior to the season opener.
On the surface, it would seem that there would be little reason for the 49ers to bring in another cornerback, especially a player who, since he has entered the league, has had numerous off-the-field issues and recently was arrested for a DUI. But in acquiring Wright, the 49ers are taking a low-cost gamble on a player who could turn out to be a solution to a position that is a weakness.
First and foremost, Wright and his salary will only count $1.5 million against the cap. Therefore, the 49ers are spared, having been the team that had to pay a good portion of what has already been guaranteed to Wright. Second, bringing in Wright will give the 49ers some options with regards to who plays at cornerback. Now with Wright in the mix, the 49ers have five cornerbacks of note on the team during training camp.
Two of those cornerbacks in the mix are Carlos Rogers and Nnamdi Asomugha. By bringing in Wright, the 49ers have some insurance in that if Asomugha is not performing at a level they see as necessary, they can release him without it hurting their salary cup number. Also, this gives the 49ers coverage if they decide to release Rogers late in preseason and make him a cap casualty because of his $8.1 million salary.
Whether or not Wright turns out to be a productive player for the 49ers is something that only time will tell, but at the very least, by bringing in Wright, the 49ers are taking a low-cost gamble that could end up paying big dividends during the season.
Lucas Carreras is a contributing San Francisco 49ers and Soccer writer for RantSports.com. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan and you can add him to your circles on Google+.