When he was selected No. 4 overall in the 2009 draft as the second highest linebacker selected (LaVar Arrington) in recent memory and handed a 6 year, $60 million deal, it goes without saying good and eventually great things were expected out of Aaron Curry.
It goes without saying that great things have not come to pass.
Which is why it should surprise no one that Pete Carroll has restructured the third year linebackers six year contract and trimmed it down to a four year deal that will expire at the end of the 2012 season. He had roughly $5 million in existing salary shaved off what is currently two years left on his contract as well.
With the new rookie wage scale set in place, you can expect to see several more of these bloated top ten contracts to be trimmed down, especially for players who have underwhelmed for their high draft position like Curry. Already a virtual top 10 selection (11th, Aaron Maybin) has been cut altogether and Matthew Stafford, Tyson Jackson, Andre Smith, Darrius Heyward Bey, and Michael Crabtree have failed to live up to their draft grades.
Here’s something I have learned when it comes to Pete Carroll, if he’s reducing the number of years on a contract, you’re probably not going to remain with the team after that trimmed contract expires. A good example here is former starting right tackle Sean Locklear; he had multiple years remaining on his deal prior to the 2010 season and then it got restructured to expire at the end of the 2010 season. It expired, and who could’ve guessed… Locklear is now a Washington Redskin.
LeRoy Hill was another former starter who had his contract reduced and if Carroll managed to land Takeo Spikes in the off-season I don’t believe you would’ve seen him return to the team either.
In fact the so called “vaunted” unit of Curry-Tatupu-Hill (and paid as such) no longer exists and never realized their potential, let alone spent more than a handful of games together on the field. Tatupu is gone after not accepting one of these restructured deals. Curry just got his contract reduced and Hill had his 6 year, $36 million deal torn into bits and pieces and made a free agent before returning on a 1 year, $2 million deal.
There is a pattern emerging here, especially amongst linebackers. Pete Carroll is as cold blooded a coach as there is in the NFL when it comes to roster moves and he did not draft Curry and while it’s his duty to get the most out of every player he cannot be directly blamed for his underwhelming two campaigns in the NFL thus far.
If Curry’s deal is set to expire in 2012, then you should fully expect him to either not be retained or to be retained on Carroll and John Schneiders terms which certainly will come below market value. If you have any doubts of this, just ask Lofa Tatupu, the former captain of the Seahawks defense, and captain of Pete Carroll’s dynasty defense at USC.
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