6:12pm: The 49ers announced that Wright has retired, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.
3:49pm: Vernon Davis and Alex Boone weren’t the only players absent from the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp today. Eric Wright was also an unexpected no-show, with head coach Jim Harbaugh telling reporters, including Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link), that the veteran defensive back was contemplating retirement. Now, Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (Twitter link) confirms that Wright has indeed opted to end his playing career, and will officially file the paperwork to retire today.
Wright, 28, played for the Browns, Lions, Buccaneers, and Niners over the course of his seven-year NFL career, appearing in 92 games overall (81 starts). The former second-round pick was a full-time starter in his early years in Cleveland, enjoying arguably his best season in 2008, when he intercepted three passes, recovered three fumbles, and ranked as a top-10 cornerback according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required).
Since signing a massive five-year deal with the Bucs in 2012 though, Wright has battled injuries and seen his playing time decline. In 2013, he appeared in just seven contests for the Niners as depth in the secondary. The UNLV product hadn’t been expected to play a major role for the club in 2014, but we’ll have to wait and see whether the team brings in another defensive back to compete for a roster spot in his absence.
Wright had been slated to earn a base salary of $855K in what would have been the final year of his contract.