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Those fans clutching their Aaron Curry jersey’s, hoping against hope, that the linebackers career in Seattle will turn around, may want to kick off the 12 stages of grieving. According to rumors on Twitter, the enigmatic linebacker has been put on the trading block with a number of teams expressing interest. Any story based on Twitter rumors is idiotic, but there is a method to the madness here. Curry’s time with this team is nearing an end. His performance has not lived up to expectations. He feels misused. Both parties agreed to a restructured deal that essentially makes him a free agent after this season. Rookie linebacker K.J. Wright moved ahead of Curry on the depth chart this week. These are not exactly sweet nothings being whispered across the negotiating table. Curry’s time in Seattle is going to be over. Attempting to get some sort of value back for him via a trade makes sense, regardless of whether the Twitter rumors are true. John Schneider and Pete Carroll have certainly been open to trades in their brief tenure.
The better question is what level of compensation might the team be offered for Curry. After all, this was a player selected #4 overall in the 2009 draft. Most fans that chimed in on Twitter were looking for a 3rd round draft choice in return. Others want Carson Palmer, or some other player. Bringing players into the deal is much harder to project. Sure, the idea of giving Cincinnati some value for a player who doesn’t want to be there makes sense on paper, but there is no indication that the Bengals will move Palmer for any amount of compensation. Guessing at other possible players would be like throwing darts in the dark.
Draft picks are a little easier to project. The reality is, though, Top 10 picks just don’t get traded all that often, especially within three years of being drafted. Going back to the 2007 draft, only Gaines Adams and Ted Ginn, Jr. have been traded. There have been players like JaMarcus Russell, Jamaal Anderson, Vernon Gholston, and Derrick Harvey that have been released, but only a couple of Top 10 trades from the last four drafts (not including 2011). Ginn, Jr. was traded to San Francisco for a 5th round pick, and Adams was traded to the Bears for a 2nd round pick.
The players that got released were borderline NFL players. Some, are no longer in the league. Curry is not a borderline NFL player. He has started every game except for this past week, and will likely start for whatever team he moves to next. There is even some reason to expect he could still develop into a Pro Bowl player in the right system, with the right coaching. He is a hard worker and still has off-the-chart physical tools. At least a few teams would likely consider him a better bet than a draft choice they would make next year. A 3rd or 4th round choice makes sense. Landing a conditional 4th that becomes a 3rd based on certain performance achievements would be a coup.