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Thursday, April 11, 2013
Breaking down Eric Wright's pay cut

By Pat Yasinskas

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced a couple days ago that cornerback Eric Wright had restructured his contract.

We knew immediately that a pay cut was involved. But now that I’ve got the official numbers on Wright’s new deal and it might end up being one of the biggest pay cuts in franchise history.

Wright will earn $1.5 million in base salary in 2013 and he can earn up to another $1.5 million in incentives that are based on playing time, how many games the Bucs win, and if they make the playoffs.

That might sound like good money to the average person. But Wright’s not the average person.

The five-year deal he signed with the Buccaneers last offseason could have brought him as much as $35,295,047.65.

But Wright didn’t just take a pay cut from $7.75 million to $1.5 million this season. The new contract is only a one-year deal.

Under the old contract, Wright had been scheduled to make $7.25 million in 2014, the same in 2015 and $7.5 million in 2016.

The wheels for all this were set into motion last year when Wright was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The suspension reduced Wright’s base salary from $7.25 million to $5.5 million and it voided what was supposed to be a fully-guaranteed base salary for this year.

But the upside to this is Wright now is in a contract year and that should give him plenty of incentive to play well. The other benefit for the Bucs is that Wright’s salary-cap figure now drops from $7.75 million to $1.5 million for this season.