SANTA CLARA -- Veteran cornerback Eric Wright, who had a fight ahead of him to win a roster spot with his hometown team, announced Tuesday he is retiring from professional football.
The 49ers released a statement from Wright while the team was on the practice field for the opening of a three-day minicamp.
“Last night, Eric reached out to inform us of his plans to retire,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “After a lengthy discussion, it was evident he put a great deal of thought into his decision. Eric has our full support and we wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
The 49ers acquired Wright in a trade last offseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, Wright did not pass the team's physical. The Buccaneers cut him, and several weeks later the 49ers signed Wright to a one-year contract. He spent the first part of the season on the non-football illness list, as he dealt with a personal issue. The 49ers signed Wright to a one-year contract March 12 that included no guaranteed money.
Because Wright's deal counted just $590,000 against the salary cap, his retirement has no impact on the 49ers' salary cap. Only the top-51 players count against the cap at this stage of the offseason.
“After seven NFL seasons, I am announcing my retirement from professional football,” Wright said in a statement. “Playing was the fulfillment of a childhood dream, but as I prepared for the coming season, I realized that I no longer had the same passion I once had for the game. The San Francisco 49ers have given me an amazing opportunity to play for the team I grew up rooting for, and I owe the York family, my coaches, and my teammates tremendous gratitude. I will be forever grateful to all of the franchises I was lucky enough to play for, and look forward to beginning the next phase of my life, and spending more time with my family.”
Wright appeared in nine games, including two in the postseason. His only highlight came with a late-game interception against the Seattle Seahawks that clinched a 19-17 victory on Dec. 8 at Candlestick Park.
In 92 career games (81 starts) with Cleveland, Detroit, Tampa Bay and the 49ers, Wright recorded 371 tackles and 15 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. He also had five fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, one sack and 72 passes broken up during his seven-year career.