The Seattle Seahawks are cutting ties with the fourth pick of the 2009 draft.
The Oakland Raiders have agreed to trade terms with the Seahawks for linebacker Aaron Curry in exchange for two draft picks — one this year and one next year.
Some of Curry’s former Seattle teammates confirmed he had come in to the team’s facility Wednesday morning to say his goodbyes.
"He came in and said how much he had learned from us and how much he’s going to miss us and everything. It’s a new beginning for him and hopefully he steps to the plate," linebacker Leroy Hill said. "I think down there he won’t have all those high expectations that he had here so he can relax and just play ball. I wish him luck and think everything will work out for him."
This is the first personnel move of the post-Al Davis era.
Curry was viewed by many to be the biggest can’t-miss prospect of the 2009 NFL draft, but had yet to pan out under two coaching regimes in Seattle. Rookie K.J. Wright had also taken over the Seahawks’ starting strongside linebacker role.
But the Butkus Award winner his senior year at Wake Forest was never able to make the complete transition to the pro game. Whether he was playing on the line of scrimmage, as a rush defensive end, even a third-down specialist, or this season playing back from the line, he struggled to find a place where he could be successful.
He struggled especially in pass coverage, to the point where he was replaced by recent free agent signing David Vobora at times in the fourth quarter of last week’s 35-26 win over the New York Giants. Vobora had just been re-signed by the Seahawks earlier that week.
Curry was first benched in favor of Wright in Week 3. He first expressed frustration at the benching, but then said a few days later that he was at peace with the decision to go with Wright. He was asked on Sept. 29 if he felt like he needed a fresh start after his struggles in Seattle.
"Who knows. I don’t know if I can sit here and say if that is the truth or if it is not," Curry said. "I’ve never been in that situation. I don’t know personally many of the guys who’ve been through the situation of having a fresh start. So I really don’t know."
Curry’s future in Seattle was already tenuous after his contract was restructured, with Curry giving up a large chunk of guaranteed money that was expected to come his way in 2012 and freeing the Seahawks to possibly part ways with Curry after this season.
"He gets to go to a new team, show the team who he is and just show them what kind of person he is," Wright said. "He told us that before he left. So he’s just starting over. I think it’s going to work out good for him."