|Inconsistency landed Aaron Curry on the bench. (Getty Images)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry was the fourth pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He's started 30 games in just over two seasons, including the first two games of 2011, both lopsided losses to the 49ers and the Steelers. In that time he has 123 tackles, 5.5 sacks, eight passes defended, four forced fumbles and he's still looking for his first career interception. (He had it last Sunday when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hit him in the hands with what would've been a pick six ... except he dropped it.)
On Thursday, Curry was demoted in favor of rookie fourth-round pick KJ Wright.
“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” Curry said, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune. “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. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens on Sunday. All questions will be answered on Sunday really.”
Curry didn't explain what exactly will be answered on Sunday, but getting benched on this team, arguably one of the NFL's worst, says something about the way he's been playing. Either way, he's taking the news about as well as can be expected.
“He’s good, he’s a professional," Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter John Boyle. "I’m sure he doesn’t like it, but he’s responded well.”
The News-Tribune's Eric Williams takes a trip in the ol' Draft-Day Time Machine to see what the Seahawks passed up to take Curry:
"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."
Since arriving in 2010, Pete Carroll has been nothing but laudatory when talking about Curry, but the team did restructure his rookie contract this August during training camp. The length of his deal was reduced from six to four years and, as Williams notes, in return for giving up $5 million in guaranteed money in 2012, Curry can become a free agent after the '12 season (where he will almost certainly make much, much less).
It also means that the Seahawks can cut him after this season and not take a cap hit because Curry's salary won't be guaranteed.
If nothing else, Curry's predicament should take some heat off the other 2009 first-rounders who didn't quite live up to expectations: Andre Smith (Bengals, 6th overall), Darrius Heyward-Bey (Oakland, 7th), Aaron Maybin (Buffalo, 11th) and Donald Brown (Colts, 27th).
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