Patriots beef up D-line with Sopoaga trade

Patriots beef up D-line with Sopoaga trade
October 29, 2013, 6:45 pm
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Two weeks ago, the New York Jets ran the ball 52 times on the Patriots. Last Sunday, the Dolphins ran the ball 31 times – a season-high for them.
With Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo subtracted from the middle of the Patriots defense for the rest of the season and Tommy Kelly absent gone for three games and counting, offenses were just getting warmed out.
The weak spot of the Patriots defense was right up the gut. Something needed to be done.
Tuesday, the Patriots did something, swinging a deal for Isaac Sopoaga who – at 6-2, 330 – brings plenty of gut to the gut.
The Patriots sent the Eagles a fifth-round pick in exchange for Sopoaga and got back Sopoaga and a sixth-rounder. That means the Patriots will have no fifth-rounder and two sixth-rounders when the draft rolls around in May.
The upside for Philly was unloading the salary of a player they signed to a three-year, $11 million deal in the offseason. Sopoaga joined Philly after spending eight seasons with San Francisco.
With the Eagles playing more 3-4 defense, Sopoaga was becoming dispensable. The Patriots, meanwhile, have been getting by with rookies Chris Jones and Joe Vellano at the defensive tackle spots.
Sopoaga adds depth to the defensive tackle rotation. He’ll probably just be on the field for first and second down. Jones, who seems a promising young interior pass rusher, will benefit on the later downs from Sopoaga being out there earlier.