Former Cleveland Browns cornerback Eric Wright has made the decision to retire from the NFL, according to multiple reports. Wright was a 2nd round pick by the Browns in 2007, and was a solid starter in Cleveland for three seasons.
In his final year with the club in 2010, though, the wheels fell off for Wright. Specifically, Wright's reputation took a bit hit when he was burned by Anquan Boldin in Week 3 of the 2010 season for 3 touchdowns. Wright's confidence was shot after that, as he was routinely burned by receivers across the NFL. By the end of the season, he had lost his starting role to then rookie cornerback Joe Haden.
Wright was still a pretty sought after cornerback following his stay with Cleveland, though. In 2011, he started all 16 games for the Detroit Lions on a one-year deal. In 2012, Wright got a big payday from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, signing a 5-year deal worth $37.5 million. That deal included $15 million guaranteed, but before being cut, he had restructured the deal, and a suspension for Adderall voided a lot of his guaranteed money. His career was headed into a tailspin. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, but only played in 7 games as a backup, registering 7 tackles on the season.
Per Niners Nation, 49ers GM Trent Baalke and Wright both issued statements on the decision:
"Last night, Eric reached out to inform us of his plans to retire," said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. "After a lengthy discussion, it was evident he put a great deal of thought into his decision. Eric has our full support and we wish him and his family nothing but the best."
"After seven NFL seasons, I am announcing my retirement from professional football," said Wright. "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."
Coincidentally, cornerback Brandon McDonald, who was the other starter during most of Wright's tenure in Cleveland, was just released by his CFL team too.