Tuesday’s NFL trading deadline has come and passed with just a single trade made league wide. The Patriots acquired nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga and a 6th round draft pick from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 5th round draft pick.
Both draft picks are for the upcoming 2014 draft in May.
He signed a three-year contract worth $11 million this past offseason with Philadelphia. The Patriots will pick up the remainder of his deal.
Sopoaga is in his 10th season and was in his first with the Eagles. The 32 year-old linemen spent the majority of his career (2004-2012) anchoring the 49ers defensive front.
It was no secret that the Patriots needed to add defensive depth for the stretch run. Sopoaga will not only provide depth, but will instantaneously sure up the large void left in the middle of their defensive after Vince Wilfork went down with a torn Achilles tendon.
He projects to slot into their lineup as a starter and should provide solid defense against opponents rushing attacks. The Patriots have switched to a 3-4 defensive front, not by choice, but to compensate for an injury battered group. Sopoaga will in no way replace the Wilfork, though should play a key role in solidifying the position.
Chris Jones and Joe Vellano have been seeing the majority of the snaps at the tackle spot since losing Wilfork. The Patriots have been uncharacteristically allowing 156.5 rushing yards per game. Sopoaga will certainly help Bill Belichick’s team improve in that area of play.