The Oakland Raiders are dead last in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 32.2 points per game. They’ve struggled against the pass, against the run and have barely put pressure on opposing quarterbacks in some games this season.
Yet this week the Raiders waived linebacker Aaron Curry, a former first-round pick whom Oakland acquired from the Seattle Seahawks last season for two draft choices.
This week’s decision to part company with Curry is just another example of the poor decision-making of the Raiders in recent seasons that is adding to the team’s problems in 2012.
Though the price for Curry wasn’t steep – a fifth-round pick next April and a seventh-round pick in the most recent draft – it’s left the organization with fewer picks to restock its roster with young talent. The team already had paid dearly in draft picks for quarterback Carson Palmer last season and quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
The decision by former head coach Hue Jackson to trade for Curry last season was a bold move – just like Jackson’s decision to trade for Palmer.
But Curry never made an impact in Oakland.
The No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 draft hardly played this season because of injuries, and the new coaching staff of Dennis Allen reportedly never was high on Curry.
Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group reported that Curry on Tuesday announced he’d been released by the team on Twitter, writing, “I am confident in my abilities to play linebacker. I am confident God will cook something up for me!!!”
Bill Williamson, who covers the AFC West for ESPN.com, wrote that “Curry was an enthusiastic player and he made some plays for Oakland last year. But he was inconsistent and often plays out of control. The new staff never appeared enamored with Curry.”
This Sunday, the 3-7 Raiders go into Cincinnati to play the Bengals – where Jackson is now an assistant coach. It will be a reunion of sorts for the Raiders and Jackson and Palmer, who is returning to Cincinnati for the first time after playing for the Bengals.
Jackson this week told reporters this game isn’t anything special. But it’s certainly another element of the game considering the impact Jackson still has on the Oakland franchise because of the trades he made last season for Curry and Palmer.
“Honestly, it’s really another football game,” Jackson said. “For me, it is. It has to be. You can’t get caught up in the emotional part of it because that’s not what this is about. This is about winning and losing.”