Seahawks Sign Aaron Curry

The Seattle Seahawks have announced that first-round linebacker Aaron Curry is under contract.

The Seattle Seahawks announced that first-round linebacker Aaron Curry is now under contract.

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed, but Andy Ross, Curry's agent, announced over Twitter that it was a six-year deal.

Curry started 49 of 51 career games at Wake Forest, earning All-ACC honors twice (2nd team in 2007; 1st team in 2008) and second-team All-American honors after his senior season. Curry made 332 tackles, 45.5 for a loss, 9.5 quarterback sacks and 6 interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns, during his Demon Deacons career.

Curry was the 2008 recipient of the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate linebacker, with Butkus traveling to Wake Forest's Winston-Salem, NC campus to hand-deliver the award to Curry in December. (An official reception was held in Chicago on January 13)

"It's amazing and an honor to receive this award," Curry said at the time. "To be mentioned in the same sentence as Dick Butkus with the things he has done on the field and off the field, I'm just hoping that I get the chance to repeat the same intensity he instilled and the determination to punish the opponent."

CBS analyst and former NFL general manager Charlie Casserly famously referred to Curry as the "best linebacker to come out of the draft in the last 10 years" and there was speculation that he could be the first linebacker to be chosen 1st overall since the Atlanta Falcons chose Aundray Bruce with the top pick in the 1988 NFL Draft.

Most draft experts labeled Curry the "safest pick" in the 2009 draft, a label he was proud of.

"I think being labeled the safest pick means that you can't go wrong drafting Aaron Curry," he said during a pre-draft interview for the Washington Post. "For the football things, I would say the versatility. Being able to play inside, outside in both the 4-3 and the 3-4. As a person, I would say it's because I don't have any character issues. You don't have to worry about me going out and wasting all my money and forgetting about the game of football that I love so much. And I think I've expressed that to the GMs and coaches that by just showing them I'm a high-character person, and that I'm a team-first type of guy, and that it's not always about me, it's about the people around me, I want to see my teammates be successful."

The lone knock against Curry was his low sack totals (9 ½ over four years), though his supporters are quick to point out that, at Wake Forest, he wasn't used in a pass-rushing role. In Seattle, Curry is expected to fill several roles.

At his first minicamp, the Seahawks had Curry just about everywhere – covering the flats, stunting inside and crashing the A-gaps, and blowing past the right tackle off the edge. This speaks to the versatility that made Curry such a prized asset and possibly the single best player in this draft class.

While he will ostensibly replace Julian Peterson as Seattle's "do-all" linebacker, he will be asked to stay more on point and on assignment than the freelancing Peterson could sometimes manage. The Seahawks require near-perfect linebacker placement in their upgraded defense, and Curry has the potential to do that right away. Because he can do so many things, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will be able to run all sorts of looks out there – 5-2-4 blitz packages, 4-4 box looks like Clancy Pendergast used to do in Arizona, as well as all the different Cover/Tampa-2 and man coverage schemes we're expecting.

Positives: For a guy his size, his speed in any direction is simply astonishing. He has great range and can overcome some angle mistakes with his sheer athleticism. He's a force as a run-stopper, closing in on ball-carriers like a scud missile. From a personality standpoint, he's everything you want in a player – humble, hard-working and fiercely intelligent, with an intense desire to make good.

Negatives: For all the speed and fury on the field, Curry will over-pursue at times, and he has had issues with pump-fakes and angles on screens. These are things that can be overcome with coaching, and Curry takes to that like the proverbial duck to water.

Other than that, there's not much wrong with him, so stand back and watch the 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year at work, folks. This should be fun,

Veteran wide receiver Billy McMullen was released to make room for Curry on the 80-man roster.


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