The San Francisco 49ers had a big question mark at the cornerback position heading into minicamp on Tuesday. That question mark has gotten even bigger since 28-year-old cornerback Eric Wright decided to call it quits and retire from the game of football. This isn’t a complete shocker as head coach Jim Harbaugh said earlier that he was aware of Wright’s possible retirement.
Wright has had a Jekyll-and-Hyde type of career. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft. He played very well for the Bucs and earned himself a $37.5 million contract in 2012. After that, it all went downhill. He was arrested for two DUIs and suspended four games for using PEDs.
The 49ers traded for Wright last offseason, but the trade was voided when Wright failed his physical. The Bucs then released him and the 49ers signed him. In his only season with the 49ers, he played 120 snaps in seven games and had a total of seven tackles and one interception.
This season, Wright was looking to compete for the slot cornerback position with the 49ers. The players still there competing for that position are rookie Jimmie Ward, Perrish Cox and Darryl Morris. On Tuesday during minicamp, Morris was the guy getting the first team reps at that spot. However, Ward will be out with an injury until the start of training camp. At that point, it will be completely up for grabs, but do not be surprised when Ward gets the spot.
With Wright’s retirement, starting cornerback Chris Culliver coming off a major knee injury, and other starter Tramaine Brock lacking experience, the 49ers have some major questions that need answering on the field. While I don’t expect this unit to be a powerhouse in the league, I do expect them to be one of the most underrated position groups when the season is over.
There is a lot of talent just waiting for opportunity.