Tim Wright returned to his old team last week, when the tight end, having been cut by New England, landed with the Buccaneers, who have the NFL’s No. 1 waiver priority this offseason. However, Tampa Bay was far from the only club to place a claim on Wright. According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter), nine other teams – 10 in total – submitted claims for the former Patriot.
Besides the Buccaneers, the teams that tried to land Wright before he reached free agency were the Jets, Bears, Falcons, Browns, Saints, Dolphins, Chiefs, Steelers, and Lions, says Yates. Most of those clubs have somewhat uncertain tight end situations — for instance, the Browns and Saints recently lost Jordan Cameron and Jimmy Graham, respectively, and the Bears aren’t sure when Martellus Bennett will report to the team.
The myriad suitors for Wright makes it even more surprising that the Patriots simply waived him last week. The young tight end just turned 25, and had racked up 80 receptions, including 11 touchdowns, in his first two years in the NFL. With Scott Chandler now in New England, Wright may not have fit into the team’s future plans, but the number of waiver claims placed for him suggests that the Pats might have been able to squeeze at least a late-round pick out of an interested club.
The Bucs have taken advantage of their top waiver priority multiple times so far this offseason, with the addition of Wright simply acting as the latest example. Tampa Bay also added former Browns punter Spencer Lanning via waivers last week, and claimed veteran safety D.J. Swearinger back in May.