Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Sopoaga trade from Eagles' view
By Mike Reiss
Collecting some links on the Patriots' acquisition of defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga from an Eagles' perspective:
1. Time to turn to younger players. Phil Sheridan, who covers the Eagles for ESPN.com's NFL Nation, writes that the Eagles likely feel 2013 third-round pick Bennie Logan and Damion Square can give them the same production as Sopoaga at a lesser cost. The Eagles had signed Sopoaga to a three-year contract this past offseason with a $2.75 million signing bonus.
2. Transitional player. The Eagles' official website notes that Sopoaga was initially targeted by the Eagles to aid in the transition from the 4-3 to 3-4 defense under a new coaching regime.
3. Have to look beyond stats. Geoff Mosher, who covers the Eagles for CSNPhilly.com, reflects on when the Eagles first signed Sopoaga and the former 49er declared the Eagles would "shock the world." Mosher, with contributing reporting from colleague Reuben Frank, writes: "Although Sopoaga didn’t contribute much from a statistical perspective, his presence in the classroom and on the practice field made an impact on an emerging defensive line that started slowly but has made major strides since the preseason."
4. Expense didn't meet output. Zach Berman, who teams up with Jeff McLane to cover the Eagles for the Philadelphia Inquirer, points out that Sopoaga played 39 percent of the team's defensive snaps this season. Then he writes: "Considering the output and the expense, Sopoaga's signing did not work out for the Eagles. He played solely on running downs and quickly became expendable."
5. Surprised they could find a trade partner. Bob Grotz, who covers the Eagles for the Delaware County Daily Times, expresses surprise that there was a team interested in Sopoaga: "The shocker is the Eagles found just a sliver of trade value in Sopoaga, who had almost nothing left in the tank." Grotz also passes along the nugget that Eagles teammates called him by the nickname "Soap."
6. Expectations not met. Tim McManus, who writes on the Eagles for PhillyMag.com, points out Sopoaga had 10 tackles in eight games this season: "The nine-year vet did not perform up to expectation in his short stint in Philadelphia."