The Seattle Seahawks officially traded underachieving linebacker to the Oakland Raiders today. The trade netted the Seahawks the Raiders’ 7th round in pick in 2012 and a conditional mid-round pick in 2013.
One of the difficulties in trading with the Raiders creates, is that the Raiders had already traded away their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks in 2012. That was why the Seahawks had to accept picks from the next 2 drafts in order to get value for Curry. The 2nd pick is suspected to be a 5th round pick, but could get as high as a 3rd rounder if Curry plays and excels with his new team, though that is unlikely.
Aaron Curry was drafted with the 4th overall pick in the 2009. At the time, Curry was thought to be the “safest” pick in the draft and a sure-fire star linebacker. The first 5 or 6 games of his rookie year he looked like he really was going to develop into a very good player, but then he regressed and by the end of the season he was rarely on the field on passing downs.
Curry is a beast of an athlete. He’s huge, strong, fast; everything you want in a linebacker. He’s big enough to play DE and fast enough to play safety. He truly is a rare and special athlete.
The problem is that he lacks football smarts and instincts. He takes bad routes to the ball carrier. Gets out of position and is easily victimized by counter plays and cut-back runs. He also never developed into a pass rusher, and showed no ability to get to the QB either when lining up at DE or on a LB blitz. In coverage, his superior athleticism isn’t apparent, as TEs and RB routinely were able to get open when he was covering.
The writing had been on the wall for months. Seattle picked 2 linebackers back in April’s draft, including 4th rounder KJ Wright who appeared to be best suited to play the same strong side linebacker position that Curry played. Curry was also asked to restructure his contract during training camp. The new deal cut 2 year and a lot of guaranteed money from his contract. Then after 3 games this season, Curry was demoted to the second team defense, and Wright became the starter.
The trade leaves the Seahawks short 2 linebackers on the roster. Jameson Konz suffered a season ending knee injury last sunday and was placed on IR. The Seahawks already have lost LB Matt McCoy to injury earlier this season. As of the time I’m writing this, the only linebackers on the Seahawks roster are starters Leroy Hill (who has a minor hamstring injury), David Hawthorne and KJ Wight, and backups Malcom Smith and David Voroba.
Just speculating, but I would guess the Seahawks will promote Mike Morgan off the practice squad, and look for FA. Names to keep in mind that be signed include: Mort Ivy from the Stealers’ PS, Kion Wilson from the Panthers’ PS, and FA Linebacker Caleb Campbell.