October 13, 2011 in Sports

Curry wasn’t as good as advertised

Jerry Brewer Seattle Times
 

Curry
(Full-size photo)

Seahawks LB Curry traded to Raiders

The Oakland Raiders agreed to acquire linebacker Aaron Curry, the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft, from Seattle on Wednesday sending a 2012 seventh-round pick and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2013 to the Seahawks. Raiders senior executive John Herrera said the trade will be official once the NFL approves it and Curry passes his physical.

In reality, Aaron Curry truly did possess unbelievable talent.

He was too good to be true. He was hailed before the 2009 NFL draft as the ultimate sure thing, a menacing, tough and athletic linebacker with a clergyman’s character. He wasn’t just going to be a star; he was going to be a community asset. Curry invited a 12-year-old leukemia survivor, Bryson Merriweather, to New York for draft day. And when the Seahawks took him with the fourth overall pick, Curry wept because he had secured a better life for his mother, Chris, who was once evicted from her home.

The Seahawks hadn’t selected a linebacker. They had selected an incredible feel-good movie, and the expectation was that Curry’s sequel would be even better. The franchise handed him a contract worth $34 million guaranteed before he played a down. No one blinked. It was a safe investment in a future Pro Bowler.

Now, two seasons and five games into a baffling career, Curry is an ex-Seahawk. For many, he will go down as one of the greatest busts in Seattle sports history. For everyone, Curry included, it was clear that his stay in town had lasted long enough, and his trade to Oakland elicits relief more than sadness or even anger.

He needed to go and start over with a new team. Curry was polarizing almost from the start, and he was maddening near the end, but in his final three weeks, he was just lost. He couldn’t do anything right. He couldn’t satisfy anyone, not even himself.

It’s hard to believe that a prospect so good, so well-regarded and well-intentioned – so right – could turn out so wrong.

Hindsight tells you that Curry’s value may have been inflated because his draft class was lackluster at the top. None of the top 12 picks in the 2009 draft has made a Pro Bowl. Only quarterback Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 pick that year, has flashed franchise-player potential.

Curry had moments of brilliance in Seattle, especially at the beginning of his rookie season. But the more he played, the more his lack of football instincts and savvy became detectable.

The Seahawks tried everything to inspire better play from Curry. He played under two defensive-minded head coaches, Jim Mora and Pete Carroll, and neither could solve him.

He’s not a pass rusher. He overruns plays. He isn’t good in coverage, doesn’t seem to grasp the defensive scheme and can’t utilize all of his speed because he’s unsure if he’s doing the right thing.

Overall, Curry has too many deficiencies for a high-profile player. So, the Seahawks have cut ties.

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