Eric Wright lost a grievance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason that allowed them to void his guaranteed base salary of $7.75 million for this season. That’s quite a loss but Wright sounds like he’s still very happy to be in place.
Wright, who the team signed to a $37.5 million, five-year contract just more than a year ago, is on a non-guaranteed one-year deal for $1.5 million. The Bucs, of course, brought in Darrelle Revis in a big deal and they drafted cornerback Johnathan Banks in the second round out of Mississippi State, meaning they envision him to be a starter one day soon.
But Wright believes he has plenty to offer a club that lost the services of Ronde Barber when he retired.
“I feel like I'm a pretty exceptional player, and the world has yet to see that in its entirety,” Wright told Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times. “I have to just go out there and remain consistent and do whatever I can to help this team win.”
So far, so good for Wright this offseason.
“There's some guys that finished the year that they think it's their position, and Eric thinks it's his position, so we'll see,” Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. “I'm not sure exactly how everything will turn out, nor do I care. I know I like the guys that are right now competing. That's the most important thing, and we'll let it all play out.”
One thing is for certain, Wright doesn’t lack confidence about his current situation.
“As long as I'm healthy and out here, there's no way that I'm not a contributor on this team,” he said. “That's the type of competitor I am. That's how I am in general. I've been playing this game for six years, and I've been a starter for six years, and that says something about the person I am, the player I am, and where my mind-set is at all times. I don't see it being any different.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune