A day after being inactive for his third straight week, a source close to San Francisco 49ers cornerback Shareece Wright confirmed to SFBay that the veteran is seeking to be released or traded from the team.
Wright, who was just one of four defensive free-agents that the 49ers signed in the offseason, has apparently grown frustrated with his lack of playing time in a unit that has relied largely on a younger contingency of defensive backs to run DC Eric Mangini’s new scheme.
Wright first made his frustration known to the public prior to Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, when the fifth-year pro posted on his Twitter account “Politics as usual,” in a reference to his lack of playing time. The tweet was later removed.
After the game, head coach Jim Tomsula, who is usually dismissive about speculative topics, tried to shoot down the notion that internal politics played a part in Wright’s lack of action, telling Bay Area reporters:
“That is an incorrect statement. It had nothing to do with anything. I made the decision to put the guys up that I thought gave us the best chance of winning the football game.”
Following a pedestrian year as a member of the San Diego Chargers, Wright was signed to a one-year, $2.95 million contract to solidify the 49ers defensive backfield that had just lost starters Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver to free agency.
Wright initially projected to be a member of the first-team defense, opposite cornerback Tramaine Brock, but was usurped during the preseason following strong play from young cornerbacks Kenneth Acker, Keith Reaser and Dontae Johnson.
With the return of DB Jimmie Ward, and the addition of DB Jaquiski Tartt, Wright has lost his role on the 49ers active gameday roster.
Wright’s allegation that politics are in play as the reason for his benching may stem from the way his contract was set up. $350,000 of Wright’s total contract is a roster bonus, that is to be paid out for every game he is on the active roster.
Per the three games that Wright has been inactive, he has lost $65,625 in salary earnings, and stands to lose more as long as he remains on the sidelines in favor of the younger, and cheaper, members of the 49ers defense.
SFBay will keep you updated with more information as the situation unfolds.