Major Wright was an all-state selection as a prep in the state of Florida and a national champion at the University of Florida. Now he's returning to his home state with a chance to chase some hardware on the NFL level.
On Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Wright, the former Chicago Bears safety. The move reunites him with Lovie Smith, who drafted him in the third round in 2010 and coached him during his first three seasons in Chicago.
Wright started the majority of the last three seasons at strong safety for the Bears, picking off nine passes during that time and returning three of them for touchdowns. In all, he played in 54 games with 42 starts in his four seasons in Chicago, racking up 253 tackles, nine interceptions, 18 passes defensed and three forced fumbles. After setting a personal high with four interceptions in 2012, he recorded a career-best 100 tackles last fall despite missing one contest.
The 75th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Wright saw action in 11 games as a reserve in his rookie season before moving into the starting lineup in 2011, replacing Danieal Manning. In 2012, Smith's final season as the head coach in Chicago, Wright started all 16 games for a defense that ranked fifth in the NFL in yards allowed and third in points allowed, ranking second on that squad with his four interceptions.
At the University of Florida, Wright was a Freshman All-American in 2007 and a 14-game starter for the Gators' 2008 BCS Championship team. In the BCS title game, he helped Florida defeat Oklahoma by contributing nine tackles and an interception. Wright is the second member of that Gators championship team to sign with the Buccaneers in the last two weeks, joining wide receiver , a Bay area native.