In an effort to improve their defensive line, the New England Patriots have made a trade for Isaac Sopoaga of the Philadelphia Eagles. The transaction took place just before the league's trade deadline.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sports provided the details of the deal:
Eagles trade Isaac sopoaga and a 6th to patriots for a fifth rounder— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 29, 2013
The team's official Twitter account then confirmed the trade:
#Eagles acquire a 5th-round pick from New England for Isaac Sopoaga and a 6th-round pick.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 29, 2013
UPDATE: Friday, Nov. 1, at 12:15 p.m. ET
Mike Reiss of ESPN indicates that Sopoaga will play this week against the Steelers:
Newly-acquired DT Isaac Sopoaga primed to play for the Patriots on Sunday against the Steelers. http://t.co/eOrbacmAdM— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 1, 2013
---End of Update---
Geoff Mosher of CSN also pointed out that the picks are for the upcoming 2014 NFL draft:
The picks are for the 2014 draft.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) October 29, 2013
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald passes along Sopoaga's perspective on the trade:
Isaac Sopoaga calls joining Patriots 'a dream come true' http://t.co/rDyFnWtSL1— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 30, 2013
The former fourth-round pick will be asked to step in for Vince Wilfork, who was placed on injured reserve earlier in October after suffering a torn Achilles.
Which team got the better end of this trade?
Since the All-Pro defensive tackle went down, an already bad defense became even worse against the run. The Patriots currently rank second to last in the NFL, allowing 130.8 rushing yards per game.
Although Sopoaga cannot make up for other injuries on the field, he will certainly be an upgrade over the current players on the defensive line while the squad fights to return to the playoffs.
On the other side of the trade, the Eagles are clearly looking to better themselves for the future after falling to 3-5 on the season. Even though they are only one game out of first place in a poor NFC East, the team has lost two games in a row and is fading fast with uncertainty under center.
This deal represents an opportunity to put themselves in a position to win next season while reducing costs.