Just when you thought the Cleveland Browns had enough holes to fill this off-season, another one bursts open. This time, it comes on the defense, as unrestricted free agent cornerback Eric Wright signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions on Thursday.
The signing comes after a season in which Wright played so poorly at times that he was sent death threats by deranged Browns fans. Obviously, I would never endorse that kind of behavior, especially towards Wright. Did he have a down season? Sure, but he recognized it and wanted to improve. He had a decent track record with the team and certainly would have been useful to the Browns in 2011 as a third cornerback or spot starter.
Under the old collective bargaining agreement, Wright was a restricted free agent with the Browns and the team gave him a tender back in March. However, in the new CBA, players with four or more years of experience can now become unrestricted free agents, leaving Wright vulnerable to be signed by other teams.
Now the Browns are left with another hole that needs to be addressed this off-season. Granted, the team still has Joe Haden (coming off an impressive rookie campaign) and Sheldon Brown, but it would have been worth signing Wright to see if he could come back from his disappointing 2010.
That’s exactly what the Browns wanted to do, but can anyone blame Wright for wanting to leave the organization after the way he was treated by fans last season? More so, potentially by the organization? His father recently tweeted that “issues with individuals within the Browns organization” were the reason for his son’s departure.
While there could be a lot of underlying reasons as to why Wright left Cleveland, the fact of the matter remains that he is gone, and the Browns are left scrambling to find another cornerback in free agency.