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One for the record books: Aaron Curry a bust for Seahawks

One of the many times Aaron Curry sat on the Seahawks sidelines this year.
Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
One of the many times Aaron Curry sat on the Seahawks sidelines this year.

"The biggest draft bust in Seahawks history."

That's how KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel describes the team's trade this week of disappointing linebacker Aaron Curry to the Oakland Raiders. The Hawks got almost nothing in return.

Just two years ago, Curry was a top draft pick for the Seahawks. But he couldn't live up to the hype.

Promising start, then downhill 

Curry was selected No. 4 overall in the 2009 NFL draft. Art says he played well in the first five games of his rookie season. Then he started to plateau. And then he declined.

"Everyone thought this guy was the real deal. And that's why, after 37 games, to get rid of him for just about nothing is one of the most shocking and disturbing developments in the Seahawks' draft history."

Art says it was due to a lack of instinct on the field. It often left Curry out of position to make the effective play. And it overshadowed his assets.

"He was taken so high in the draft and heralded as the safest pick because he had the size, the strength, the speed and even the intangibles – they thought – to be an impact player for years. And to squander it like this is a huge blow."

Cut in pay, replaced by a rookie

Things really came to a head this year. Before the NFL lockout, the Seahawks cut Curry's pay and took two years off his guaranteed contract. Art says that was a sign they were definitely disappointed in him. He took the deal.

Curry started the first two games this season and then was benched for rookie K.J. Wright, a 4th-round draft pick. Art says he was better than Curry. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll repeatedly praised Wright's instincts.

Traded for next to nothing

After he was benched, Curry took to Twitter to express his frustration. When the Seahawks beat Arizona, Curry tweeted that "they won" instead of "we won." And he talked about playing for other teams.

Then the Oakland Raiders came calling. They had an injury at linebacker and were willing to give the Seahawks a 7th round draft pick next year for Curry (the 7th round is the lowest round in the draft). The Seahawks also get a conditional draft pick in 2013, depending on how much Curry plays for the Raiders.

Art says it was clear this year that it wasn't working out for Curry in Seattle – he knew it and the coaches knew it.

"They've all landed on the bromide that 'Well, he needs a new start somewhere else.' Maybe he'll work out in Oakland and maybe not. But no matter what, it's a big disappointment."

Read more on this topic at Sportspress Northwest.

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.