Wright fails 49ers physical, nixing trade with Tampa Bay

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Jul. 25, 2013 - 6:18 am

SANTA CLARA – The curious case of Eric Wright ended suddenly Monday when the cornerback failed his physical with the 49ers, voiding Friday's trade with Tampa Bay.

The 49ers had agreed to send a late-round draft pick in 2014 to the Buccaneers for the troubled cornerback, pending a physical. The trade was conditional, meaning if Wright, 27, didn't make the 53-man squad, the 49ers wouldn't owe the Buccaneers anything.

After failing the physical for unspecified reasons, Wright was sent back to the Buccaneers, who released him, making him a free agent.

The sequence again raised questions whether the 49ers were aware of Wright's recent arrest in Los Angeles on suspicion of driving under the influence before they agreed to the trade.

Wright was pulled over July 12, about a year after another DUI arrest in Los Angeles. He wasn't charged in the 2012 case and hasn't been charged yet in this one.

Wright's July 12 arrest wasn't publicized until after the trade.

Coach Jim Harbaugh was characteristically close-lipped on the matter Monday.

Asked if he knew about Wright's DUI arrest, Harbaugh referred questions to general manager Trent Baalke.

"He's got a clearer understanding of the specific transaction," Harbaugh said. "So I'll defer to him on that."

Baalke, through the team's public relations director, declined to comment.

When minicamp ended last month, Harbaugh warned players about appearing in police blotters during the seven weeks before training camp. Wright's acquisition seemed to undermine that message.

Wright has had other infractions.

He was suspended for four games last season for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. He later said he tested positive for Adderall.

In 2005, he transferred from USC to UNLV after he was investigated for suspicion of rape. No charges were filed in that case.

Harbaugh also had no comment about an incident involving starting linebacker Ahmad Brooks. The Santa Clara County district attorney spent more than a month investigating after Brooks allegedly struck teammate Lamar Divens in the head three times with a beer bottle on June 8. Divens' wound required stitches.

The DA's office dropped the case because it felt a jury would not convict Brooks. That was partially because Divens demanded $1 million from Brooks in exchange for not pressing charges, the DA said.

Brooks still could be disciplined by the NFL, which is reviewing the case, or by the 49ers. Asked about possible punishment, Harbaugh said, "Had conversations, but not that we're going to talk about here."

Brooks is expected to report to training camp Wednesday with the rest of the veterans. If he misses time this season, his starting spot likely will be filled by Parys Haralson, who is healthy after missing the 2012 season with a torn triceps.

Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320. Follow him on Twitter @mattbarrows.

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