Who Is Shareece Wright And How Can He Help?
It was just two weeks ago that then-San Francisco 49ers cornerback Shareece Wright asked to be traded or released.
The 49ers front office granted his wish Saturday, and by Monday evening, the fifth-year veteran reportedly signed with the Baltimore Ravens. Consider Wright grateful to get out of a situation where he wasn't getting any playing time, and be thrust into another that provides ample opportunity.
The Niners signed Wright to a one-year deal in March reportedly worth $3 million after he started 27 games the last two seasons in San Diego, where he was drafted in the third round in 2011. However, Wright was pushed down the 49ers depth chart – similar to Will Davis in Miami before being traded to the Ravens last month – and was not activated for the first four games of this season.
Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area noted that Wright lost $21,875 for every game that he was inactive.
The Ravens lost Davis to a season-ending knee injury (a big blow considering Pro Football Focus graded him the highest among all Ravens corners) and neither Lardarius Webb nor Kyle Arrington finished Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns because of injuries. So it's possible that Wright will dress for his first game of the season this Sunday. In his 27 starts with the Chargers, Wright racked up 108 tackles, one interception and 23 passes defended.
"Signing Wright serves the dual purpose of providing more cornerback depth, and giving the Ravens some inside information on Sunday's opponent, the 49ers," wrote the folks at CSNMidAtlantic.com.
"It remains to be seen how much Wright helps the Ravens. The 49ers didn't activate him through their first four games, so he was clearly not in their plans. However, the Ravens got strong play of out cornerback Will Davis immediately after they traded for him last month."
For now, the Ravens chose to sign Wright over promoting either of their cornerbacks, Asa Jackson or Charles James, from the practice squad.
"What does the signing of Wright truly say about Asa?" asked Russell Street Report's Brian Bower.
The Ravens could still make those moves if they think either Webb or Arrington can't play Sunday. According to The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec, Webb hurt his hamstring and team officials hope it is relatively minor, but they also know it could linger and put his status in doubt. Webb missed time when he dealt with that injury throughout much of training camp. Arrington left the Browns game with a concussion, and per Zrebiec, he has passed all the protocol tests to this point.
If the Ravens were to promote either Jackson or James, they historically don't make those moves until Saturday's deadline leading up to Sunday's contest.
And they may have wanted to snatch up Wright before the market really starts to thin out.
"You start getting past this time – close to the midway point – that's where it kind of dries up on you, but there are some corners out there right now that can play," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday afternoon before the reported signing of Wright.
Davis 10th Person On Injured Reserve
When the Ravens officially move Davis to injured reserve this week, he will be the 10th player to be added to the list.
At this rate, the Ravens are already pacing ahead of last year's injured reserve moves. Baltimore finished with 19 on the list in 2014, which was the seventh most, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The other nine players already added to injured reserve are wide receiver Michael Campanaro, safety Matt Elam, tight end Allen Reisner, defensive tackle Micajah Reynolds, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, outside linebacker Zach Thompson, defensive end Brent Urban (designated to return) cornerback Julian Wilson and wide receiver Cam Worthy.
Five Players Up, Five Players Down … PFF Grades
The Baltimore Sun's Jon Meoli put together his list of five players whose stock is on the rise and five that are on the decline after Sunday's overtime loss. In addition, I've added the PFF grades from the game.
The entire offensive line:** "After three weeks of disorganization and basic sadness from this group, the last two games have featured anything but."
Running back Justin Forsett:"It was hard to parse blame between him and the line for the running struggles through three weeks, but what's immediately clear is that no one reads the Ravens' blocking scheme and fits into space within it as well as Forsett. If his ankle injury is serious, it will be a massive blow to a team that can't afford one."
Defensive end Lawrence Guy:"Guy has been an incredibly useful player considering he was waived by the defensive-line needy Colts and Chargers in recent years. It begs the question: When Chris Canty returns from his calf injury, is there any reason other than his veteran status for him to play more than Guy?"
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk: "When he's involved in the game plan as much as he was against the Browns, he's a critical weapon — and one the Browns took great pains to cover out of the flat late in Sunday's loss."
Safety Terrence Brooks: "Brooks had a bad introduction to this game as the fifth defensive back in the slot when he allowed a third-and-long completion to Andrew Hawkins after falling down on a double move, but was very strong after. The former cornerback covered decently and was constantly creating pressure."
Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley:"Mosley entered Sunday's game having never recorded less than five tackles in a game, but was in on just two in what will go down as the roughest game of his young career."
Outside linebacker Jason Babin:"Are there bigger problems on this team? Absolutely, but Babin doesn't have a sack or a quarterback hit through limited action in his debut last week or more extensive snaps this week. He does, however, have three penalties accrued on Sunday, and all were costly."
Tight end Maxx Williams: "In two games without starter Crockett Gillmore (strained calf), Williams has been outperformed by fellow rookie tight end Nick Boyle by a pretty substantial margin."
Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw:"No player stood to gain more than Upshaw after Terrell Suggs' season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1. How much the edge-setting, strong-side linebacker's role has changed since then is up for debate, but the fact that he doesn't have a sack since midway through the 2013 season and has one quarterback hit this year isn't [up for debate]."
Wide receiver Marlon Brown: "Brown's regression last year could be chalked up to the arrival of Steve Smith Sr. and Owen Daniels, but he's been given ample opportunity to step up and be a red-zone target on a team that lacks them this year and hasn't done it."
Flacco NFL's Worst 4th-Quarter QB This Season
While quarterback Joe Flacco has done well in the first three quarters of games this season to put his team in position to win, he hasn't played as well in critical fourth quarters.
Flacco is the NFL's worst-rated passer in the fourth quarter through the first five weeks of the season, as ESPN's Jamison Hensley pointed out.
Sunday's loss to the Browns was a perfect example of this trend. Flacco rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another in the first three quarters, but completed just two of 10 passes for 32 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime.
This is an atypical trend for Flacco. In his previous seven career seasons, Flacco was the ninth-best quarterback in the fourth quarter with an 89.0 rating. Seeing as this is uncharacteristic, Hensley notes that the problem can't all be just with the Ravens quarterback.
"Not all the blame can be placed on Flacco for these numbers," wrote Hensley. "He didn't have his top wide receiver (Steve Smith), rookie first-round pick (Breshad Perriman) and top two tight ends (Dennis Pitta and Crockett Gillmore). He was also pressured on six of his 11 dropbacks in the fourth quarter and overtime.
"It's been a combination of not having enough time in the pocket and receivers like Kamar Aiken and Marlon Brown not getting open soon enough."