Seahawks Insider

LB Aaron Curry demoted in favor of K.J. Wright

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm with 44 Comments »
September 22, 2011 6:26 pm
Seattle Seahawks' Aaron Curry at a walkthrough football practice to open training camp Thursday, July 28, 2011, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Seattle Seahawks’ brass finally ran out of patience with linebacker Aaron Curry.

The Wake Forest product and the No. 4 overall pick in the draft three years ago confirmed that his role has changed, and he has been demoted to second team on the depth chart at outside linebacker, with rookie K.J. Wright working with the first unit during practice this week.

“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” Curry said. “But it is what it is. … Everything happens for a reason. There’s a purpose behind everything, and I’ll find it and learn from it and take off running.”

The move comes after Curry, 25, struggled against Pittsburgh last week, dropping an interception in pass coverage with his team down 7-0 in the second quarter that potentially could have been returned for a touchdown.

Curry said it’s the first time that he can remember in his football playing career that he’s been benched because of performance. Curry’s junior year at Wake Forest in a game against Navy, he did not start the first quarter as a disciplinary measure for missing class.

“It’s going to be interesting to see what happens on Sunday,” he said. “All questions will be answered on Sunday really.

“It’s a special situation,” he added. “But it is what it is. All I can do is show up and be me every day.”

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll consistently praised and supported Curry from the first day he took over as the team’s head coach in January of last year. When he took the job, Carroll said one of his first priorities was to find a way to best use the raw athletic talents of the 6-2, 255-pound linebacker.

Considered by many draft analysts as the safest player in the 2009 draft, Curry’s athleticism has never translated to consistent production on the football field, as he often found himself out of position and did not create explosive plays defensively.

For the most part Curry’s been healthy, playing in 32 of 34 possible games, including 30 starts. And he’s been a model citizen off the field. But Curry’s production has not lived up to his lofty draft status.

Through two games, Curry is tied for third on the team in tackles with 11. Curry has 5.5 sacks and just one interception in the playoffs last season against Chicago to his credit in two-plus seasons. He finished fifth overall on the team in total tackles with 73 in 2010.

While Curry has floundered, other linebackers taken after him in his same draft class have flourished. Washington’s Brian Orakpo (selected No. 13), Houston’s Brian Cushing (No. 15) and Green Bay’s Clay Mathews (No. 26) all have a Pro Bowl to their credit in their young careers.

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry attempts to make a tackle on Pittsburgh running back Isaac Redman. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Earlier this season during training camp the Seahawks restructured Curry’s contract, making it easier to part ways with the underperforming linebacker at season’s end if they choose.

Curry agreed to cut his rookie deal from six to four years.

In return for giving up $5 million in guaranteed salary Curry’s due to make in 2012, he can become a free agent at the end of that season – two years earlier at the age of 27.

By season’s end, Curry will have earned $28.25 million in guaranteed money over 2 ½ years of the six-year, $60 million deal he originally signed with Seattle’s previous regime in August 2009.

Because Curry’s salary is not guaranteed in 2012, the Seahawks could release him in February without any financial obligation. The restructured deal also makes it easier to for Seattle to move Curry in a trade.

The Seahawks selected Wright in the fourth round of this year’s draft. At 6-4, 246 pounds, Seattle drafted Wright as depth behind Curry. But linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. placed Wright at middle linebacker behind David Hawthorne because of his instincts and he liked his length inside.

Further, The Seahawks felt learning that position would speed up Wright’s development because he would have to learn all of the defensive calls.

Wright started the first game of the year against San Francisco at middle linebacker because Hawthorne had a knee issue, and Carroll has raved about his performance so far this season.

The Seahawks attempted to make Curry more of a pass rusher his first two years in the league because of his natural speed of the edge. But they returned Curry to his more traditional role of an outside linebacker that played back in pass coverage, which Curry seemed to feel more comfortable with.

But ultimately, the Seahawks believe that Wright is a better fit for what they want to do scheme-wise at this time.

Leave a comment Comments → 44
  1. Great news, maybe it’ll knock some sense into him, make him play up to what he actually can. I will be interested in seeing Wright out there, from what I’ve been able to tell, he looked solid.

  2. wow. Pretty surprised by this.

    Now, he is indeed a bust, ACIB’s screen name was prophetic.

    I didn’t think he was playing that poorly at all – really, our whole defense has been playing well these first two games. Must be that Carroll wants Wright to be further along in his development for next year, and obviously Curry is not in our plans beyond this season. Huh.

  3. Surprising move to me as Curry seemed to be playing reasonably well. Not comensurate with his draft status, but reasonable.

    That has to be a solid shot to the ego for Curry. Heh.

    Go get em Wright!

  4. Has Curry ever played MLB? Could Norton try him there occasionally on run plays?

  5. That should send a message to other underperforming players.

  6. And Brandon Browner continues to start?

  7. ljarllrajl says:

    I guess after watching Mendenhall bounce every run outside play after play, the coaching staff had seen enough.

    In Curry’s defense, none of the other linebackers could hold an edge either in that game.

    KJ Wright’s not ready to start, but I guess this is the direction they’re going this year.

  8. Take the hit with young guys right now so we win less this year but set ourselves up for future success (young players like Wright and Moffpender with experience and the whole “Suck for Luck” thing). It’s painful in the here and now, but it’ll pay dividends down the road. I like it.

    I wonder if they consider trading an older player with no long term future (Brock or Trufant?) around the trading deadline to take more of a hit here and now for some draft pick ammunition? Some contending teams who suffer an injury or two that also have GMs who need to win this year or lose their jobs may be interested. We’re already 1/8th through the season, too.

  9. I’m so glad they’re giving the youngsters playing experience…if Curry is not in our plans, why waste the time…

    Does anyone remember me bitching about Seneca Wallace? He never had starter potential but Holmgren allowed him to take reps from a younger QB he could have been developing…

    Loved Holmgren…He had an incredible way of developing QBs….my only wish is that he would have left an heir apparent to Hasselbeck.

    It seems that Carroll and Schneider get the idea of wasting reps on players with no upside or future with the team…it hurts now but his experience will pay off next year.

  10. ljarllrajl says:

    This is a year too KEEP all of our draft picks. lol

    I see that we still have one conditional pick pending for the Marshawn Lynch trade, but other than that…keep all of our draft picks this season!

  11. Dukeshire says:

    Awesome move. Now can they trade him for anything?

    Klm – If Curry can’t play Sam no chance in hell he can handle the responsibility physically, of Mike.

    Browner may indeed find himself on the bench soon enough, but after two games, including against one of the best receivers in the game, his time to sit is not here.

  12. About damn time! So sick of this cheerleader who can sure get excited but cannot play the game. What a con-artist, he sure fooled EVERYONE in the draft process, and of course, we now pay the price. Hopefully they can at least move this clown for a 7th round pick, but the league knows he will be released next year

  13. Ewalters7354 says:

    I love the move.Aaron Curry gets on my damn nerves anyway.His twitter post show exactly how serious he is about playing football.He tends to entertain everything else but his job.Hopefully Tjack is next.He just doesn’t have the brains to be a QB that will make this team competitive.I really hate how Pete blames everybody else except the QB.Make us proud Pete!

  14. Dukeshire says:

    Of course it’s early yet, but can Jackson be far behind…?

  15. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    Biggest non QB bust in Seahawks history. He was the same garbage player in college but impressed the pundits in the underwear olympics.

  16. I hope not!

  17. Let Portis play QB. He’s going to suck as a rookie but he seems like he’s going to be around for awhile. Nothing better for him that to get 10+ starts as an NFL player moving foward. Even when he sits behind Luck next year at least he’ll be an experienced back-up instead of a total greenhorn. If we’re thinking long-term, that’s probably the best plan.

    Jackson isn’t the answer and if Charlie can’t “comPete” with him he’s really got to be bad (although I think he should be the starter) and he’s going to be a FA at the end of the season. That leaves us with Portis.

    If we can get a 7th round pick in 2029 for Curry… I’d jump at that opportunity!

  18. BobbyAyala says:

    Imagine Pete Carroll sitting at a table in a small room. Across from him sits Tim Ruskell. Then, in a blinding rage, Carroll lunges across the table and tackles Ruskell, sending them violently to the floor, where Carroll bitch slaps Ruskell repeatedly across the face while screaming, “Why!? Why!? You freaking idiot, why are you so stupid!?”

    His glasses clear across the room, his stringy hair sprouting up wildly, his bloated red face riddled with panic, Ruskell pleads, “It was a transition tag! No one could have seen the poison pill coming!”

  19. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    Best comment ever ^

    I lol’d.

  20. chuck_easton says:

    Curry realized his play wasn’t enough to get him out of Seattle. He’s now trying to talk his way out via his twitter account.

    Sad part is he will go to some other team and suddenly blossom into a decent LB. He will then tell everyone who listens that it was Seattle’s fault. He wasn’t being used properly, and the coffee was bad, and the weather was bad, and nobody showed him the love. They were all haters including the fans who never embraced him and gave him the love and attention he deserved…

  21. Duke,

    You hit both points I was going to mention in your first post. Curry is an idiot, so there’s not friggin’ way he’s going to be the QB of the Defense.

    Browner has taken lots of heat this week because of the Pittsburgh game, but people need to understand that was against one of the fastest receivers in the NFL, who by the way, does the same to the rest of the league. He just should have jammed him at the line to disrupt his routes…

    I’m DYING to see what ACIB has to say. Didn’t see a post from him yet…

  22. yellaman says:

    WOW i’m kind of curious how long Curry is going to be on the team ( maybe trade?)I know “” will be happy to hear this news. Retrospect we should’ve drafted Sanchez and now we wouldn’t be having future QB discussions. I remember that draft and thought curry was the safe pick @ 4 but man was I and the old hawks regime wrong on that one.

  23. tribfan1 says:

    “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens on Sunday,” he said. “All questions will be answered on Sunday really.

    All I can say is it’s going to be interesting to see what happens on Sunday, really all questions will be answered on Sunday really.

    BTW All I can say is it’s going to be interesting to see what happens on Sunday, all questions will be answered on Sunday really.

  24. MadSweeney42 says:

    All the guys who asked about Jackson…. what do you think a mediocre QB on a 2 year deal is? It’s called a placeholder. He’ll be gone when there’s someone to take his place (and no, not by another mediocre QB on a 2 year deal).

    ACIB, sorry, as much as you hate Curry, Bosworth cannot be replaced on the bust list.

    And anyone who blames Ruskell or anyone else for drafting him… Curry was hands down considered the best athlete in that year’s draft as well as by far the best LB. Even at pick #4, a ton of people were talking about him as a steal. This wasn’t a reach, wasn’t a lack of scouting, wasn’t anything the team could do to prevent this being a bust. It just happens.

    Looks like Pete is doing his turnaround completely. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Trufant gone by trading deadline. Probably can’t get anything for Curry now since it’s obvious that he’ll be gone. Pete’s making this his team and this much turnaraound involves sucking for awhile. It also makes me think he’s not worried about being on a hot seat for a couple of years. We just can’t judge him as a coach or team builder until at least after next season when presumably he’ll have most of his pieces ready to go.

    Also, for those that have mentioned what Pete has said publicly, I can’t remember the last time I believed a coach (or a player or any public figure really) since Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman.”. So just don’t believe them and you’ll feel better. Everyone seems to think that speaking publicly is no place for the truth…

  25. Coolalvin says:

    This team is a flippin’ mess.

  26. chuck_easton says:


    And you expected anything else? It’s called rebuilding. Nobody expected the team to be good this year. They are just living up to what was expected. They are not underachieving or playing below expectations.

    Even last year I said several times if you told me Seattle was going to go 7-9 I would have been thrilled but I would have told you that the expectation was probably too high.

    If you told me Seattle was going to be 7-9, win the Division, and win a playoff game I would have asked your home address so I would know where to send the nice men in the white suits who would show up at your house with a cool jacket with extra long sleeves and the buckles on the back.

    It’s a rebuilding team. Say that several times and move on. The team isn’t self-destructing. They are putting the foundation for the future together and the kids just need some on-the-job training. Sure it stinks from a fan perspective but they are not underperforming by any stretch of the imagination.

  27. freedom_X says:

    No one can say Carroll is predictable. Either he’s got it totally rock-solid and knows exactly what he’s doing, or he’s nuttier than a fruitcake and a flake. Time will tell. But you can’t put the guy in a pigeonhole, no way.

    Anybody can turn out to be a bust. The only people who be self-righteous about that type of thing are the people who predicted it before the draft, not after. Not even the people who just wanted a different player can pat themselves on the back for their acumen. If you’re on the warpath because the guy is a bust and thinking how you would have been a better GM, say it beforehand, not after.

    I remember the comments when Curry was drafted and I don’t remember anyone saying he’d be a bust. The only thing I saw was #4 was too high for an LB. But no one saying he couldn’t play. And while no one dares to admit it now, there are regular posters today who praised the Curry selection. I myself thought he would be a productive pick.

  28. “I myself thought he would be a productive pick. ”

    Yeah, me too – and not from watching him at Wake (who’s got the time to scout college football LB’s), but just listening to all the draft hype. No real point in laying blame here.

    I do think a lesson to be learned is that you can get solid linebackers in later rounds. Now, if you’ve got someone who can rush the QB, that’s a different story, and that makes a LB worthy of a top-5 pick, I guess maybe they thought Curry would develop into that guy based on his size/speed numbers, but it didn’t happen. Personally, I thought he was playing pretty well over the first 2 games of his year – I noticed him out there. But I’m still in the mode of trusting the coaches until proven otherwise.

  29. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    I don’t like this move at all. Despite the drop Sunday Curry has played well this season so far. I’ve participated in both live game chats, and during those people have noticed/said that Curry is making plays. The only legitimate reason for the front office trying to get rid of him is because of his contract.

    It’s beginning to seem like Carrol is more interested in getting rid of players from the old regime then building a good team and winning right now. After all, his dumb ass had the reigns when Hasslebeck wasn’t re-signed, which is why we have the second worse offense in the league right now. Carrol’s dumb ass is also responsible for Darrel Bevell–a horrible O.C., and T.J.–an even worse Q.B.

    O.k., Carrol is re-building the team this year and should get a little leash. But even if we do win the suck for Luck competition it’s not like Luck is going to be instantly good. It’s going to take him a year or two to get acclimated to the NFL. That means that it could be 2014/2015 before we have a Superbowl contending team. That’s not acceptable.

  30. ACIB, try Brian Bosworth. Or Ray Roberts! Did I mention Koren Robinson, although he had one good year. AC would’ve been decent for years, not worthy of a 4 pick but not as big a bust as previously mentioned. At least AC played DECENT this year. I agree, not up to the money or draft status but, he was WIDELY considered one of the safest picks in the 09 draft. Not Ruskell’s fault, IMO, one of the VERY VERY FEW I will give him a pass on. I give comPete and JS there due for restructuring his deal so they could get rid of him. You CANNOT pay a DECENT LB prime time money when he doesn’t earn it!!!!!

  31. ljarllrajl says:

    Dan McGwire was the biggest Seahawks bust of all time.

    At least with Boz, RR, K-Rob, they all had at least 1 productive year with our team.

  32. You have to give comPete and JS until the end of 2013, IMO. If we aren’t a winning team, or at least very competitive with A LOT of upside by then I will lead the firing squad. IT TAKES TIME TO REBUILD. FACE FACTS. They were able to get themselves out of AC’s MONSTROUS rookie contract so that they can cut him after the season without any repercussions. Pretty good, IMO

  33. Curry is still young, so I hope he’s tradeable despite the contract. A disappointment so far, but maybe he has enough potential left to lure another team.

    I’m surprised to see so much support for Browner. I want to root for the guy, but that performance last week was an absolute disgrace. Send him back on the field? That’s why this team is becoming a national punchline.

  34. I’d like to see Curry traded too, but unfortunately this demotion will only hurt his trade value. I’m sure Schneider would love a mid round pick for him so he can bundle picks to trade up for his QB next year. This may be just the first move to do that.

  35. ChrisHolmes says:

    It does take time to rebuild… Look no further than Detroit.

    I like what Detroit has done the past few years. And look at their promise now. If Stafford stays healthy… wow.

    But they didn’t accumulate that talent overnight.

    It’s going to take Seattle some time.

  36. Funny stuff, BobbyAyala. Love it.

  37. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    “. I agree, not up to the money or draft status but, he was WIDELY considered one of the safest picks in the 09 draft. Not Ruskell’s fault, IMO”

    Safe picks can kiss my ass. You can find a linebacker of Curry’s caliber in the 5th round of EVERY SINGLE DRAFT. A strong tackler is NOT worth a top 5 draft pick. He had ONLY 9 SACKS as a 4 year starter. Plus who really gives a crap about a joke football school like Wake Forest?

  38. ACiB – have a look at the list and tell us who you would have taken #4. Have a good hard look cause there just isn’t a WINNER. Good luck with convincing anyone of that.

  39. clocks tickin” you have minutes to decide. KC passed on Curry and took? A DE from no-where. What did they know no-one else did. That the draft prospects were POS.

  40. SandpointHawk says:

    @BobbyAyala; too funny…great post

  41. thursday says:

    seconding the “let portis play qb” motion

  42. oscar_contender says:

    If you read between the lines, maybe we could have seen this coming-

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