“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” And with the help of their agents, Drew Stanton and Eric Wright left the Detroit Lions, finding truth in the passage by Dr. Suess. Now the two former Lions’ find themselves in two very different situations.
In March of the 2012 off-season, the Lions failed to retain cornerback Eric Wright after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offered him a $38 million dollar contract with $15.5 million of that guaranteed. It was an offer the Lions couldn’t afford to match and a situation where the Lions’ secondary took a turn for the worse. This was especially the case after the Detroit front office made the decision to cut embattled cornerback Aaron Berry.
In that very same month, the Lions’ lost their dependable third-string quarterback Drew Stanton to the Jets. Drew’s tale though was the closest thing you could have to a “feel-good story” for a player leaving a team via free agency. Stanton wanted to take a shot at a second-string quarterback job, hoping to eventually get a chance to start games for an NFL team. However, those good feelings came to an abrupt halt one week later when Tim Tebow become the new back up for the Jets forcing Stanton to demand a trade to the Indianapolis Colts where he would back up soon-to-be rookie sensation Andrew Luck.
Meanwhile, Eric Wright looked to be doing all the right things initially but that soon changed. In November of 2012, Wright was found guilty of violating the league policy that bans performance-enhancing drugs. The Tampa Bay cornerback would be suspended for four games, and by the end of the season, Wright had less than half the tackles he had for the Detroit Lions in 2011. With the lack of production, suspension, and hefty contract, the Buccaneers are now shopping the cornerback who will more than likely be required to take a significant pay cut.
Stanton has turned the page as well. The once third string quarterback has gotten his chance to start for the Arizona Cardinals, a team that struggled at the quarterback position last season. He signed for 8.2 million dollars, with a two million dollar signing bonus and three million guaranteed.
Both these former Lions’ left the team in hopes to make it better for themselves, but took two very different paths.
As for the Lions themselves with both Stanton and Wright leaving Detroit has received two extra picks in April’s Draft.