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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers retain CB Wright with one-year deal

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Published:   |   Updated: April 9, 2013 at 08:34 PM
TAMPA -

That four-game suspension Eric Wright earned for toying with Adderall a year ago continues to cost the cornerback plenty of money but it hasn't cost him his job with the Buccaneers.

Though they have hinted at parting ways with Wright over his violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, the Bucs have agreed to bring Wright back for another year, though at a reduced salary.

The Bucs announced Tuesday that Wright, who originally joined the team after signing a five-year, $37 million contract in March 2012, has agreed to a restructured $1.5 million contract for the 2013 season.

The deal includes incentives that could push Wright's earnings for 2013 to as much as $3 million, but that is less than half of what he was initially slated to earn under the terms of his original contract.

That pact included a guaranteed 2013 salary of $7.75 million, but the Bucs voided that guarantee and later won a ruling defending their right to do so after Wright was suspended by the league for testing positive for Adderall last November.

The Bucs did not issue a comment on the decision to retain Wright, but coach Greg Schiano hinted last month during the NFL owners meetings that the team might be leaning toward bringing him back.

"He had some things that kind of tripped him up (last year), but he has been reliable - not only here but in other places where coaches on our staff have been with him,'' Schiano said. "If I didn't feel there was good there, we would have already separated from him, but there is good there.''

Wright could not immediately be reached for comment, but he did post a response to the deal on his Twitter page that read. "Real life. I tell u the money will never (be) equal to the love. #LiveAndLearn #WatchClosely.''

The decision to retain Wright came at a time when the Bucs have become desperately thin at the cornerback position and amid rumors of a possible trade between them and the New York Jets for cornerback Darrell Revis.

Paired with the possibility the Bucs could add a starting-caliber corner in the draft, the Wright deal has the potential to diminish the Bucs' desire to trade for Revis because it does leave them with one veteran starting corner.

Originally a second-round pick of the Browns in 2007, the 5-10, 190-pound Wright has played in 85 games with 81 starts over his six NFL seasons and has never started fewer than 10 games in any one season.

He started in all 10 games in which he appeared for the Bucs last year, finishing the season with 39 tackles, one interception returned 60 yards for a touchdown, eight passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

Prior to joining the Bucs, Wright started all 16 games for the Lions in 2011, tying a career high with four interceptions and setting a new single-season high with 16 pass breakups.

The Bucs also officially announced on Tuesday the re-signing of backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky to a one-year, $850,000 deal. Orlovsky, who originally signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract with the Bucs last year, was released late last week.

The Bucs saved approximately $700,000 in salary cap space by releasing and then re-signing Orlovsky, who appeared in just one game last year, completing four of seven passes for 51 yards in a 41-0 loss to the Saints.

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