Posted: 7:31 p.m. Friday, July 19, 2013
By David Fucillo
Shortly after word came out that the San Francisco 49ers had traded for cornerback Eric Wright, word started to spread that Wright was arrested last Friday for misdemeanor DUI. A quick search of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department website reveals that Wright was arrested at 5:15 p.m. July 12, booked at 7:56 p.m., posted $5,000 bail and was released at 12:17 a.m. later that night. According to Wright's attorney, per Matt Barrows, no charges have been filed yet.
It is hard to tell how much the 49ers knew about this. Mike Florio is speculating (as he is wont to do) that the 49ers might not have known about the arrest. However, there is also speculation on Twitter that the 49ers had been in negotiations with the Bucs before the arrest. Whatever the case, the 49ers obviously know at this point what's up. Matt Maiocco also tweeted out some comments from Trent Baalke, who was asked whether the team knew about the arrest. Baalke said:
We are pleased to add Eric to our team. As an organization, we have done our due diligence and anticipate Eric working hard to contribute to the 49ers.
Matt Barrows also tweeted out that a "team source" said the Bucs GM told Baalke about the arrest before the trade was finalized.
This marks Wright's second brush with the law involving an alleged DUI. A year ago, he was arrested for felony DUI after a car he was driving rear-ended another car. The charges were dropped a mere two weeks later. According to reports from the arrest, Wright acknowledged he had been drinking at a friend's home earlier in the day, but refused a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test. The charge was felony DUI and not misdemeanor DUI because the other driver was injured in the accident, although the driver did refuse medical treatment.
This all comes after Donte Whitner mentioned how Jim Harbaugh told the 49ers players to avoid the police blotters during their vacation between the offseason workout program and training camp. Now, obviously Wright was not a member of the 49ers at this point, but it's always noteworthy when a team adds a player with some off-field question marks.
It seems like Wright has generally been a good citizen in the NFL, but with this misdemeanor DUI, we'll have to wait and see if the NFL decides to impose any sort of punishment on him. I believe that any punishment would result in a fine because it would be a first time offense of the league's alcohol and drug policy.
One "off-field" question mark that has raised a few eyebrows is the fact that Wright was suspended for PED usage last year. Wright claimed it was Adderall. Mike Sando mentioned the link, and while I think it can be considered overblown, I think it is still worth a mention.
It was not too long ago that Jim Harbaugh mentioned how a team has to be above reproach, and that players claiming Adderall usage are not necessarily trustworthy given that they have been busted for cheating. Whatever we think of that, it puts Harbaugh on the radar when the team acquires someone who was busted for potentially using Adderall. It may not seem fair, but that's the way it is.
Furthermore, if the Seahawks had acquired Wright, I can guarantee you plenty of 49ers fans would be giving Seahawks fans some crap for adding another player who used Adderall. Given how our fan base interacts with their fan base, I think it would be naive to think otherwise.