SANTA CLARA -- Cornerback Eric Wright cited his diminished passion for football as for why he's retiring rather than start minicamp Tuesday with the 49ers.

"Playing was the fulfillment of a childhood dream, but as I prepared for the coming season, I realized that I no longer had the same passion I once had for the game," said Wright, a San Francisco native who came to the 49ers last season for the seventh and final season of a wayward career.

"The San Francisco 49ers have given me an amazing opportunity to play for the team I grew up rooting for, and I owe the York family, my coaches, and my teammates tremendous gratitude. I will be forever grateful to all of the franchises I was lucky enough to play for, and look forward to beginning the next phase of my life, and spending more time with my family."

San Francisco 49ers’ Eric Wright (30) celebrates his interception with San Francisco 49ers’ Eric Reid (35) with :09 seconds left against the
San Francisco 49ers' Eric Wright (30) celebrates his interception with San Francisco 49ers' Eric Reid (35) with :09 seconds left against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif. on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) ( Nhat V. Meyer )

Wright, who became a father last year, began his career with the Cleveland Browns (2007-2010) before moving onto the Detroit Lions (2011), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012) and 49ers (2013). He had 15 career interceptions, and his only one with the 49ers came at the end of last December's home win against the Seattle Seahawks.

"Last night, Eric reached out to inform us of his plans to retire," general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "After a lengthy discussion, it was evident he put a great deal of thought into his decision. Eric has our full support and we wish him and his family nothing but the best."

Rather than parlay his experience into a bigger role with the 49ers, Wright leaves behind a cornerback unit seemingly stocked with several up-and-coming players.

Tramaine Brock and former Vikings starter Chris Cook typically have taken the first-string snaps.

Chris Culliver is also a candidate to start once he's fully cleared to return from last summer's knee injury. Culliver participated in position drills Tuesday before retreating to a side field for conditioning work.

Other healthy options on the depth chart are Perrish Cox, Darryl Morris and draft picks Dontae Johnson and Kenneth Acker. Both Cox and Morris saw time covering the slot receiver, a role that's penciled in for first-round draft pick Jimmie Ward, who's sat out the offseason program while recovering from March foot surgery.

For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.