49ers void trade for cornerback Eric Wright after he fails physical 

SANTA CLARA — Cornerback Eric Wright failed his physical with the 49ers, voiding the team's controversial trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 49ers announced on Monday that they sent Wright back to the Buccaneers and retained the 2014 conditional pick they had initially traded away for him on Friday. The Buccaneers released Wright, who played at Riordan High School in The City, after the trade was voided, making him a free agent.

Coach Jim Harbaugh refused to reveal why Wright, 27, had failed his physical after his team's practice on Monday, a session with rookies which kicked off training camp.

"The information is he didn't pass his physical," Harbaugh said. "He's not on the team."

The trade raised eyebrows after news broke that Wright had been arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge in Los Angeles earlier in the month. Wright was also arrested for DUI last year, but the charges were dismissed.

The 49ers indicated they were aware of Wright's arrest prior to making the trade.

"As an organization, we have done our due diligence and anticipate Eric working hard to contribute to the 49ers," general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement Friday.

The team also drew criticism for acquiring Wright despite the fact that he had served a four-game suspension last season after failing a performance-enhancing drug test. The move seemed hypocritical after Harbaugh criticized the Seattle Seahawks for having five players on their roster who have served suspensions for performance-enhancing drug use since 2011.

"It has no place in an athlete's body. Play by the rules. ... We want to be above reproach in everything and do everything by the rules. Because if you don't, if you cheat to win, then you've already lost," Harbaugh told The Associated Press in June.

Harbaugh said he still wants his team to be above reproach.

"That hasn't changed," he said.

The 49ers coach punted on questions about why the team pursued a player with legal troubles and performance-enhancing drug history.

"Talk to Trent on that, he's a better person to talk to about it," Harbaugh said. "He's got a clear understanding of the transaction."

Wright was drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft by the Cleveland Browns. The 27-year-old corner spent four seasons in Cleveland and one with the Detroit Lions. He signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with Tampa Bay in 2012.

As for players on the roster, Harbaugh said he isn't concerned that starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick wore a Miami Dolphins cap at a Fourth of July celebration this summer which caused an Internet firestorm. The 49ers' coach chalked up "Hatgate" to a slow time in the sports news cycle.

"I know Kap and I know where his allegiances lie — they lie with us," he said.

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Paul Gackle

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