The Buccaneers will be without their top defensive free-agent addition of the offseason — CB Eric Wright — in the thick of a playoff race in which the Bucs are among the viable wild-card contenders. Wright’s four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs was upheld at his appeal, so he will be away from the team when it meets QBs Peyton Manning and Drew Brees in pivotal games the next three weeks.
We had heard there was disenchantment with Wright’s play inside the Bucs’ ranks even before the first reports of Wright’s suspension and there is already speculation about what his future might hold after the season. Head coach Greg Schiano has not shown much patience with players that veer off the Bucs’ way. The Bucs were able to send CB Aqib Talib — like Talib, Wright also said his suspension was the result of taking an Adderall pill — to the Patriots just before the trade deadline.
The Bucs are no longer on the hook for the guaranteed money that Wright's contract called for next season because of the suspension, so the suspension could cost Wright more than the next four game checks.
The Bucs lost by only a point to the team with the best record in the NFC — the Falcons — on Sunday without Wright. He was inactive because of an Achilles injury. Wright will be eligible to return from suspension in time for the Bucs’ Week 17 game against the Falcons.