Remember when everyone was gushing over Aaron Curry as a future NFL star and arguably the top defensive player and safest pick heading into the 2009 NFL Draft? Whatever happened to him and how did all of the “experts” get it so wrong?
Like Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, it turns out the former 2009 first round pick (No. 4 overall) out of Wake Forest let things go to his head, admitting that the money changed him and caused him to lose his motivation.
“Early in my career, I was just selfish and self-centered,” Curry said via the Newark Star-Ledger. “I was more about me than I was the Seahawks at the time. I was more focused on my own desires versus the franchise and the team. It was immaturity, and I’m glad I got past that stage.”
Curry signed a six-year, $60 million deal with $34 million guaranteed in 2009. He appeared in 35 contests (30 starts) and registered a total of 156 tackles with just 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in almost two and a half seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before being traded to the Oakland Raiders for a seventh-round pick.
The 27-year-old was released by the Raiders last November after totaling just 47 tackles with no sacks in 13 games (nine starts). His knee issues also called into question whether Curry would have any sort of future in the NFL.
But the former draft bust of the Seahawks surely isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last rookie to feel invincible after a fat paycheck. But fortunately for teams around the league, the new rookie wage scale makes it easier to compete and get rid of a first-round bust.
And fortunately for Curry, he still has a chance to prove himself and find some success in the NFL. The well-chiseled 6-2, 265 pound-pound linebacker lined up on the strong-side with the New York Giants’ second unit on Tuesday after sparking interest from “double-digit” teams and signing a one-year deal with the club for the veteran’s minimum a couple of weeks ago.
He credits Seahawks LB coach Ken Norton Jr. and a return to health for helping him refocus his career and chose the Giants because of the team’s “professionalism.”
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website. Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter. Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!