The San Francisco Chronicle's Kevin Lynch just tweeted out that friends of cornerback Eric Wright said the free agent spent some time with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke on Thursday. The 49ers previously acquired Wright in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before voiding the deal after Wright failed his physical.
As Lynch mentioned, Wright would have to pass another physical in order to sign with the 49ers. We never got any specifics on the failed physical, although he did have to deal with an Achilles injury from last season. It is possible that is the injury, although I still wonder how much had to do with the off-the-field issues we heard about leading up to the voiding of the trade. Maybe he actually was hurt, but the timing of the failed physical and the news about the DUI just struck me as kind of weird.
Whatever the case, Wright was the first name most people mentioned after Chris Culliver hurt his knee. Once Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter confirmed the injury, Wright chatter went into overdrive. Although he has been inconsistent, Wright remains a solid option on the market, and would at the very least boost the cornerback competition in camp.
If the 49ers did sign Eric Wright, it would give us some insight into their thoughts on the cornerback position. Wright has played a mix of right, left and slot cornerback in his time in the league. According to Pro Football Focus, he split time between the three spots the last two years, and in 2010 was much more exclusively in the left cornerback spot, with some time in the slot as well.
After Culliver injured his knee, Tramaine Brock moved into the starting spot in the nickel opposite Tarell Brown. Nnamdi Asomugha is backing up Brown for now, but I have to think we'll see one of those two get some opportunities on the other side in the nickel. Carlos Rogers handles it in the base defense, but the 49ers spent enough time in the nickel and dime that they need to figure out the spot as soon as possible.