Oakland Raiders: Aaron Curry Latest Raider to Restructure Contract

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystMarch 10, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18:  Aaron Curry #51 of the Oakland Raiders breaks up this pass at the goaline to Brandon Pettigrew #87 of the Detroit Lions at O.co Coliseum on December 18, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After a week that has seen defensive lineman Richard Seymour, quarterback Carson Palmer, and safety Michael Huff all restructure their contracts in an effort to create some wiggle room for the salary cap-strapped Oakland Raiders, yet another Oakland player has re-done his deal in an effort to help the team erase what began as a cap overage in excess of $20 million, as linebacker Aaron Curry has joined his teammates in "taking one for the team" by agreeing to renegotiate his contract late Friday.

The 25-year-old Curry was the fourth-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, but after two-plus disappointing seasons in the Emerald City where Curry was miscast as a strong-side linebacker in the Seahawks 4-3 defense Curry was traded to the Raiders last October in exchange for a seventh=round pick in the 2012 draft and a conditional draft choice in 2013.

According to reports Curry, who had 46 tackles in nine starts last season after joining the Silver and Black, agreed to convert much of his $5.8 million base salary in 2012 to incentives, affording the Raiders some cap relief while ensuring that Curry can still make the same money he would have before restructuring his contract—if the former Wake Forest standout plays well as Oakland's weak-side linebacker this season (either outside in a 4-3 front or potentially inside at WILB should the Raiders feature more 3-4 looks as was speculated earlier this year), which is the position Curry played in college and the one to which he's more naturally suited.

Curry, who is a devout Christian and avid tweeter, took to his favorite forum Friday night to express his satisfaction with the "new" contract that will keep him with the Raiders at least through the end of this season, after which time Curry will hit free agency.

I restructured my contract because I was born a Christfilled Raider! I'm excited to be able to   Glorify God and ... tmi.me/mMTTB

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— Aaron Curry (@AaronCurry51) March 10, 2012

I've decided to be living proof that God is a a Raiders fan!

— Aaron Curry (@AaronCurry51) March 10, 2012

This latest contract renegotiation by an Oakland player is believed to have pushed the Raiders below the salary cap, and it "caps" a very positive week for Raider Nation that has seen a number of prominent and highly paid Raiders re-do their deals in an effort to extricate the franchise from years of mismanagement. 

There's still a lot of work to be done both on and off the field before the Oakland Raiders can potentially return to being one of the National Football League's elite teams, but if this past week has been any indication, then the Raiders, general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen finally have the team headed in the right direction.

After a decade of futility,  the "Commitment to Excellence" may well be becoming more mantra than lip service in the Bay Area for the first time in years.