On Friday afternoon, former first-round draft pick Aaron Curry came to an agreement to sign with the New York Giants on a one-year deal. And it was Curry who broke the news himself on his Twitter page with a very enthusiastic message to all of his fans and viewers, revealing the news of his next employers.
"EXCITED TO BE A GIANT!!!" he tweeted.
Curry flew into New Jersey on Wednesday night and had the meeting with the team on Thursday along with former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Joshua Cribbs. It was thought that both players left their respective meetings without a deal and some wondered if the team would sign either. However, Curry was then spotted at the first day of Giants rookie mini-camp on Friday as an observer, which made all of the reporters in attendance start to speculate as to if and when Curry would sign with the team.
By 4:30 p.m. on Friday, the former first-round pick from the 2009 NFL Draft found a new home in the NFL. It was a signing that Giants general manager Jerry Reese referred to as a low-risk move, but with high rewards.
"It’s an opportunity for him. If he comes on and he looks like the player that he was when he was the fourth pick in the draft, it’s a win-win for everybody. … Sometimes a guy can go to a new environment and reinvent himself. We’re hoping that’s what happens with him," Reese said.
A lot of fans were upset that Reese chose not to draft a linebacker in last month's 2013 NFL Draft, passing over guys such as Khaseem Greene, Arthur Brown and Manti Te'o. But with a former high draft pick like Curry sitting out on the open market looking for a second chance, Reese was willing to give it to him after he liked what he saw.
"We’re always looking for players and we like giving guys second opportunities,'' Reese said of Curry. "He’s worked hard to get back and he worked out well for us. If he didn’t work out well for us we wouldn’t be fooling around with this.
After being regarded as an NFL draft bust with the Seattle Seahawks, they dealt him to the Oakland Raiders for a seventh-round draft pick. While in Oakland, Curry looked like he found his old groove in their defensive system, but a knee injury forced him to the Injured Reserve in 2012 and then was waived by Oakland this past November.
Reese also said that Curry could play the SAM (strong-side) linebacker or even switch to the MIKE (middle) linebacker position. As an NFL player, Curry has played mostly as a strong-side linebacker on the outside, but could always be shifted by defensive coordinator Perry Fewell if needed.
Curry joins a linebacker unit that has another former first-round draft pick in Keith Rivers, who the Giants made the deal with last April from the Cincinnati Bengals and then re-signed to a one-year deal for 2013. Along with Rivers, there is Mark Herzlich, Dan Connor, Spencer Paysinger, Jacquian Williams and Mathias Kiwanuka, who will likely play the "joker" defensive end/linebacker position. Of the group a year ago, Michael Boley was released in February and Chase Blackburn signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers in free agency.
If Curry plays anywhere near the potential and hype that he had coming out of Wake Forest, then the Giants may have in fact found a legitimate steal, so long as Curry's knees can stay healthy and he is on the field for the team in 2013.
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