Ravens re-sign veteran cornerback Wright to three-year deal


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With a need at cornerback, the Ravens didn’t want to allow veteran Shareece Wright to hit the free-agent market later this week.
Instead, the sides agreed to a three-year contract on Monday to keep the 28-year-old in Baltimore after he started seven games in 2015. The deal is worth up to $16 million and includes $5 million guaranteed.
“This is something that we knew if we could get this much, [I’d] come back here,” said Wright, who settled for a one-year, $3 million deal with San Francisco last offseason when he became an unrestricted free agent for the first time. “It’s more than the money. You see a lot of players leave teams that they were with to chase the money and their careers don’t really go the direction that they thought it would. To come back here with a team that knows me and I got to get to know them, I knew it was important.”
Wright offered a strong clue about the agreement on his official Twitter account late Sunday night. He had been scheduled to officially hit the market at 4 p.m. on Wednesday if a deal was not reached, but he noted that Baltimore was the place he wanted to be after the 49ers released him last October and he received plenty of interest from other teams.
With Lardarius Webb moving to safety, the Ravens have an open starting job opposite Jimmy Smith, his teammate at Colton High School in California. Wright even attended the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII victory party in New Orleans to celebrate with Smith and says it’s difficult to put a price tag on the opportunity to play with his best friend.
“You can’t really make that happen too often,” Wright said. “It’s been fourteen years of playing since we were in ninth grade in high school playing football together and both playing corner. To get us together now is something you can’t really buy. You can’t really get that too many places. It’s that chemistry of being able to play and understand each other and being able to watch film together and understand what it is we’re trying to get accomplished.”
Upon signing with the Ravens in mid-October, Wright had an abysmal debut against San Francisco in which he was beaten for two touchdown passes in Week 6, but he improved after that and finished 41st among all qualified NFL cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus’ 2015 grading system. In 11 games, the 5-foot-11, 182-pound cornerback finished with 40 tackles and five pass breakups.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said how impressed the organization was with Wright addressing teammates a couple weeks after rough debut. He told him that he expected more of himself on the field after his rough start.
“He was probably one of the most consistent players that we had on defense, especially the second half of the year after he got here,” Pees said. “The attention to detail that he does, the work that he does, never says ‘boo,’ just comes to work [and] does what he’s supposed to do, what else can you ask in a football player than that? I’m so excited to have him back.”
The Ravens are likely to continue searching for another quality cornerback via the draft or free agency, but retaining Wright eases the pressure on that search. After struggling mightily in pass defense in the first half of the 2015 season, Baltimore ranked first in that department over the final eight games and finished 10th in the league in pass defense with Wright factoring more into the secondary equation.
Originally a third round pick of the San Diego Chargers in the 2011 draft, Wright has collected 163 tackles, one interception, 25 pass breakups, and one forced fumble in five NFL seasons.