OWINGS MILLS -- Shareece Wright’s Ravens career did not begin well, torched by the San Francisco 49ers just days after signing with the Ravens. Wright’s Ravens career, though, has only gotten better since, and on Monday the cornerback signed a new three-year deal with the Ravens worth a reported $16 million, with $5 million guaranteed.
“I couldn’t ask for anything else,” Wright said about the prospect of returning to the Ravens, a team he joined in midseason after requesting his release from the 49ers.
Wright figures to enter camp as the starting cornerback opposite his high school teammate and best friend, Jimmy Smith. Even if the Ravens draft a potential plug-and-play corner with their No. 6 overall draft pick, Wright gives the secondary a veteran presence to ease the transition for any young draft picks.
Wright was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday, but he said he had no interest in exploring the free agent marketplace as long as he and the Ravens could reach a suitable agreement.
“It’s more than the money,” said Wright, who said he has been a fan of the Ravens organization ever since attending the Ravens Super Bowl victory party in New Orleans as Smith’s guest.
Wright, who turns 29 in April, was originally a third-round draft pick of the Chargers in 2011. He played four seasons with the Chargers, then was with the 49ers this past fall before being cut in October. The Ravens signed him three days later, and he made his Ravens debut against the 49ers. It did not go well, with Torrey Smith blowing by him for a 76-yard touchdown, one of two he gave up.
From then on, though, Wright had a solid year for the Ravens. The Ravens essentially gave up on Lardarius Webb and Kyle Arrington as starters on the outside, so Wright took over as a starter at one corner spot, opposite Smith. Wright finished with 40 tackles and five passes defensed.
““He was probably the most consistent, or one of the most consistent, players that we had on defense especially the second half of the year,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said.
“I am so excited to have him back,” Pees added. “It helps us on our defensive scheme just tremendously to have him back.” Pees also related how Wright, a couple of weeks after the 49ers debacle, got up in front of his new team and vowed that those mistakes would not happen again.
“That game wasn’t who I was,” Wright said recalling the incident, “and I just wanted to let my team know who I am and what I stand for as a football player … and how serious I take this job.”
Coach John Harbaugh said Wright “stepped in here and became a Raven almost immediately.”
“He’s what we’re all about. Nobody works harder. Nobody’s more dedicated to his craft. Nobody spends more time watching tape … Paying attention to detail and technique. He does that as well as any corner I’ve been around,” Harbaugh added.
“As he got acclimated and accustomed to the way we play, he made our defense better.”