The Oakland Raiders traded a 2012 seventh-round pick and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2013 to the Seattle Seahawks for linebacker Aaron Curry.
Curry, who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, has been a major disappointment in Seattle. Just two-and-a-half seasons in, it was too early to call Curry a bust and ship him out of town. The Seahawks will receive a seventh-round pick and at best a fifth-round pick in exchange for a player they used the No. 4 overall pick on.
I call that great value for the Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders have made a roster out of rehabilitating the careers of former first-round picks. One such example is the play of Kamerion Wimbley at outside linebacker. Wimbley, a first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2006, has evolved into one of the best 4-3 outside linebackers in the NFL. Aaron Curry is now lining up opposite him.
The Raiders defense asks their outside linebackers to be flexible. Curry will be asked to rush the passer, drop into coverage and set the edge against the run. Thankfully, this is what he does best.
When reviewing Curry for the 2009 NFL draft, I had him ranked No. 3 overall, with his best attribute being the all-around game needed to play three-downs in the NFL. Curry had 45.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage during his time at Wake Forest. His ability to crash the line and make stops was legendary. He is still that same player.
Curry will be served well by a change of scenery. As a player he never meshed well with the Pete Carroll regime and his play suffered because of it. During his rookie season, Curry played well enough as a pass rusher, but struggled against the run and was penalized too often, but there was hope. In his second season, and first with Carroll, Curry's play was markedly better against the run, but again he was too often penalized. Curry needs a strong leader on defense, something Seattle lacks. He'll find that in Richard Seymour. Seymour and the other nine starters on defense will do something Curry never had in Seattle—help him make plays.
Curry's rookie contract is set to expire after the 2012 season. He is due $5.7 million next season and could see his contract re-worked if he plays well enough over the next 10 games. Curry is young and the type of athlete the Raiders needed opposite Wimbley at linebacker. With one year left on his existing the deal the Raiders are in a great position to extend him long-term at a team-friendly number.