Terry Wright is the perfect example of a player Who has needed alternative Football to launch his professional career. A Purdue alum, Wright never seemed to be able to crack the active roster for any NFL team. However, since his time in the NFL Wright has embraced alternative football leagues, and carved out a nice career for himself.
Wright is a JUCO product originally attending Coffeyville Community College to begin his career. Making his bones on special teams as a freshman, Wright quickly set himself apart as a kick returner. He averaged almost 27 yards per return on 19 attempts. This performance on special teams led to a role on offense as a sophomore, a large one at that. He would go on to catch 56 passes for 805 yards and 8 touchdowns or just over 14 yards per reception. Noted for his speed, Wright would later run a 4.44 at his Purdue pro-day.
He would move on to Purdue as a junior, running track and playing football. He would join new head coach Jeff Brohm, and his brother Brian who was hired as offensive coordinator. In his first season at Purdue, he did his best Tyreek Hill impression seeing time in the run game, and as a receiver. Ironically he did not return kicks for Purdue in either season. He would finish the season with 5 carries for 45 yards, and 29 receptions for 274 yards. The Purdue offense was using Wright to kill opposing defenses in the short game as such he averaged 2.5 receptions a game but only 23 yards per game. Purdue wanted to get Wright in space and often used the screen game to do so. However, this led to a paltry 9.4 yards per reception. Way off his mark at Coffeyville a year earlier.
In his senior year, Brian Brohm’s second season with Purdue, he found better ways to utilize Wright. With this Wright would go from averaging under 10 yards per reception to over 16 yards per reception in just one season. This would properly display the kind of athlete and deep threat Wright truly was, just in time to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Professional Career Begins
Unfortunately, Wright would fall out of the draft altogether. He would land on the Seattle Seahawks less than 2 weeks after the draft. Wright would last all offseason with Seattle. He ended up being let go in final cuts and re-signed to the practice squad just a day later. He would stick with Seattle until October when he was released to bring in-depth at other positions. It would take almost a month but his next stop was the Pittsburgh Steelers. He would stick there for just 13 days.
Just days later Miami brought him in on their practice squad. He would go on to sign a futures deal with Miami and return to the team in 2020, hoping to build off of his time with the team. However, Wright was let go just before the 2020 NFL draft. At this point, Wright would stay on the open market for months. His next tryout didn’t come until August 23rd. Over 4 months after he had been cut. This didn’t culminate in a contract and he would spend over a full calendar year on the market.
In 2021 after over a year on the free agent market with no NFL interest, it was time for Wright to explore other options. This led him to sign with the Ottawa Redblacks in July of 2021, however, he was immediately placed on the suspended list. This would ultimately lead to him never playing for the Redblacks despite being listed as on the roster through the 2022 season.
Wright would weigh his options and ultimately pursue the XFL as a means to get him back into the NFL. He would go on to be drafted by a deep San Antonio Brahmas roster. With many of the wide receivers fitting a certain mold, and Wright being the black sheep of the group, he was let go when teams began to make final cuts. This left him available to join the Stars for the 2023 season.
Role With Philadelphia
With Maurice Alexander gone and Chris Rowland the most likely person to fill in his role, the Stars likely wanted to bring in a player with a similar body type, and skillset to be their second option in the return game, reverse game, at slot receiver, and as a deep threat. It will be interesting to see if Rowland the incumbent still ends up being the first player off the bench for these roles, or if was Wright brought in to compete.
Regardless there are enough snaps to go around, as we saw Alexander and Rowland serve slightly different roles last season. Together they collected 60 targets, 41 receptions for 449 yards, 3 touchdowns, 4 carries 25 yards, 29 kick returns for 901 yards, and Alexander added 13 punt returns for 164 yards. There is certainly an opening to be filled, and we have seen the Stars take a calculated, and methodical approach to the offseason to bring in players who they believe will stick and not end up strictly camp bodies.