The veteran safety lost out on a roster spot to rookie Ryan Smith after having totaled 76 tackles over two seasons in Tampa. Wright was overpaid relative to where he figured in on the roster, with a $1.75 million salary on the books for 2016 before his release. A Lovie Smith import from the former Bucs head coach's days in Chicago, Wright is likely to find interest from the slew of teams looking for some veteran safety help.
Wright opened the season as a starter, but his Week 1 injury gave Chris Conte a chance to shine. Hobbled by injuries for much of the year, Wright finished with just 25 tackles and three passes defensed in nine appearances. He is under contract for 2016, whereas Conte's deal expires at the end of the season. Given that neither player really stands out, the Bucs might also look outside of the organization for a starting safety to pair with Bradley McDougald.
The writing had appeared to be on the wall with respect to Wright re-taking a starting role on the defense, and it came to fruition on Thursday with mixed results. While the 27-year-old did move up to the top of the strong safety depth chart in place of Bradley McDougald, he struggled in coverage against Rams tight end Jared Cook, who managed a 25-yard grab with Wright tailing him among his four receptions. With an extended period of time off before their Week 16 home tilt against the Bears, it remains to be seen if the Bucs will institute further changes in the secondary.
Major Wright played on 52 snaps in Tampa's Week 14 loss to the Saints, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The former starter continues to see an uptick in playing time, and tallied only one less snap than first-string strong safety Bradley McDougald. Wright has tallied 12 tackles and two passes defensed over the last two weeks, and may continue to garner additional playing time if McDougald continues to be inconsistent in pass coverage.
Major Wright tallied eight tackles (six solo) and two passes defensed in Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Saints.
The 27-year-old former starter posted a second consecutive strong performance, with the eight total tackles and six solo stops both representing season highs. Wright received some additional playing time in Week 13 against the Falcons and contributed four tackles in that contest, and is likely to continue receiving extended opportunity if his level of play continues to rise.
|11||11/20/16||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|13||12/4/16||@ SD||4:25 pm|
|15||12/18/16||@ DAL||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/16||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12||51||34.0||17||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||1|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||25||16.0||9||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||3|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|