• June 25, 2022

The Truth About Why Isaac Sopoaga Was Traded

Yesterday the Eagles traded nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga and a 2014 sixth round draft pick to the the New England Patriots for 2014 fifth round draft pick.  The trade isn’t a big deal for the Eagles because the Birds young defensive linemen can more than make up for the absence of Sopoaga.  He had shown us he can still be an anchor in the middle of a defensive line against the run, but he won’t be missed.

The Eagles got rid of Sopoaga because they didn’t need him and he was in the way of their young defensive linemen.  Sopoaga was no longer one of the team’s best defensive linemen and they were starting to take snaps away from him.  The Birds young defensive line is growing and they need to be on the field playing.  The former San Francisco nose tackle needed to be moved for the sake of the team’s young defensive linemen, so Howie Roseman and the team’s front office did the right thing.

Sopoaga will help the Patriots who lost Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vince Wilfork for the season and the Eagles will be able to give his snaps to their youngsters on the defensive line.

The move was precipitated by a surprising development on the Eagles football team.  The Birds defensive line not only has a much brighter future than the team’s offensive line, they’re playing much better than the offensive line right now.  Coming into the season, I along with most of the observer’s of the football team, thought the Eagles offensive line was the strength of the squad.  The defensive line was a big question mark, especially adding the fact that they were changing schemes.   But they have outperformed the offensive line of late and their very young and sure to get better.

The starting defensive line is now second-year Cedric Thornton at left defensive end, rookie Bennie Logan at nose tackle and second-year Fletcher Cox at the right defensive end spot.  You can’t get much younger than that.  The starters are backed up by third-year defensive end Clifton Geathers, rookie nose tackle Damion Square and second-year defensive end Vinny Curry.  All of these guys have been getting playing time except Square, who hadn’t been activated.  They’ve all been not only playing, but playing well in the recent games.  They all need more time on the field.

One of the main reasons the defense has played well of late has been the progress of the young defensive line, which is becoming a force.  They need to be on the field getting better and this is no place for an old nose tackle, like Sopoaga, who has seen his best days.  It was an ideal trade because it opens up playing time on the Birds defensive line and it gives New England somebody who can step in and help them this Sunday.

The Birds defensive line dominated both the Cowboys offensive line and the Giants offensive line in back to back weeks.  In the Dallas game, the Eagles defense gave up 74 yards on the ground in 26 carries which is a 2.8 yards per carry average.  They surrendered on 88 yards to the Giants on 31 carries.  That amounts to only 2.8 yards per carry.   That’s an outstanding job against the run and it’s why the Birds were still in both games despite stinking up the place offensively.

The young defensive line is getting comfortable in the three-four alignment and they playing better each week.  They starting to play the game on the offense’s side of the line of scrimmage and they’re not thinking as much.

We thought the Eagles would be looking for defensive linemen in this upcoming draft because of their change to the three-four defense, but they’re going to be looking for offensive linemen in this year’s selection process because the defensive line is young and growing.


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  • I agree that moving Soapafa was a no brainer
    And the Pats are a Team with a big need their so its a good move for both Clubs but before you a annoit the Eagkes DL as the next coming
    Of the Steel Curtain, there needs to a much improved pass-rush
    They are doing a fine job against the stun, but we all know that today’s NFal is about passing the ball and making Pkays down the field which looking at the Top Teams, they all have a good, consistent Pasd-Rush and get after the QB
    Typically in the 3-4 Scheme, the Sacks will come the LB’s
    I believe Trent Cole has zero Sacks, Barwin a few, Ketabs and Kendrick’s a couple each.. This is not enough as a Front 7
    I like the Future of Cox,Thornton, Logan moving forward but in Today’s NFL,
    You need to have 5-6-7 of these type of Players and at least 2 Solid Pass-Rushers..
    Eagles will need to add another DE, another NT and at least 1 to 2 LB’s

    On a side note, Safety Nate Allen is playing the best ball of his NFL Career over the last month or so.. He is in his final Season of his Contract and will be interesting to see how he finishes.. There are not many Safeties in this upcoming Draft and Chung & Wolff are solid back-ups so this is something to eat h over the 2nd half of the Season.. I am in no way saying that Nate Allen is an All-Pro, but he has played well since the Chiefs Game in my opinion

    • CB Fletcher has also played pretty consistent at CB
      And is playing on a 1 Year Deal, I believe..
      Do you extend both Fletcher & Allen or do you cut the chord and go with new faces again in the Secondary again next season knowing it will take a half a season to begin to gel again.. I say you Re-Sign them both
      And still add/draft Secondary Players..

      • Nate Allen?
        Nate Allen has no pop in his pads which is why I hate him but the NFL outlawed every thing down to playing like Nate Allen, which is why he looks good. Nate Allen didn’t have to transition his game for the new rules he is the shining example prototype of what the NFL wants. The NFL encourages every NFL safety to play like Nate Allen wants to play. Passive and soft.

      • You don’t re-sign either one of those bums

        • You can’t go into every Season GMCliff with a completely new bunch of Players and especially in the Secondary is what I am saying..
          This is the 4th Secondary Coach and System for this Seconday in the last 5 Seasons, not making excuses for Allen’s past poor play, but he is finally starting to play well, not great, but serviceable and I would think the Eagles would want to build on who is playing well instead of scraping entire Secondary again and going with a new group who will have the same issues learning to play a System with new Players in it..

          • Paul, Bradley Fletcher, and Nate Allen stink…We have no choice, when you have an opportunity to upgrade the entire secondary….

            Like I said, you don’t re-sign either one of them…period

            • you do both.

              You resign Nate Allen- yes I said it.. IF you think he is good enough to be a backup.

              One problem I had with the eagles back in the GOOD Andy Reid days, is that he would let LB’s walk out the door if they were not going to start. Why would you NOT stack your team with Depth?

              There is no doubt that we need all kinds of help in the secondary… but I have no problem with some of the guys we have now providing the depth.

              • You don’t sign inept players. I don’t want mediocrity. Fletcher, and Allen are less than mediocrity…YOU DO NOT SIGN EITHER ONE. THEY ARE SORRY!!!

  • For what my opinion is worth here, which is not much, I agree.
    No pressure! As long as we let the QBs sit back there all day we will keep giving up plays like 3rd and whatever. It makes me sick.

  • Fletcher is on a 2 year deal and jauris Byrd is a fa next offseason

    • I really like Jarius Byrd but am concerned about his Foot Issues..
      Those “Plantar Fasciitis” Injuries never seem to go away with Athletes and we don’t need another Damaged goods PLayer to come in .. Hee’s only 28 Years Old and had a strong game last week with 11 Tackles in his first game of the Season.. but I am afraid he will be a player who can’t practice much due to his Foot Issues…

  • what can be expected from Damion Square? I didn’t pay any attention to him in pre-season. Is he tall, fat, fast, Nose tackle, 5 technique, 3 gap?

    • Damion Square is very quick and at 6-2 293lbs is best suited for generating a Pas-Rush from the DT Position.. He is not a Run Stuffer or a NT but more of a Pass-Rusher who relies on his quick first step..
      He reminds me a little of former Eagle DE Juqua Parker, but bigger and is very active and more of a Role Player to give you 20 Snaps a game, but Productive ones. I think he has some nice upside to him in a Rotational Basis ..

  • Teams should trade away 33 year olds who have seen better days so that young promising players can play????

    Go figure.

    • LOL. But we are just Haters Vinnie.

  • “The Truth About Why Isaac Sopoaga Was Traded.” He blew, & was a complete hot mess, trash truck juice smelling waste, that’s why!
    “Sopoaga was no longer one of the team’s best defensive linemen and they were starting to take snaps away from him.” When was he EVER one of the teams best defensive linemen? Are you joking???? Complete waste of $3.3M, for 8 games of invisibility! Holding back the young D-linemen? We DO NOT have a legit NT! Logan is a rotational 4-3 DT, that doesn’t fit, was an over-drafted reach, & sucks. He made no plays in college, & showed stugots in training camp. He will get exposed, as another useless POS drafted by Weaselman. More snaps to Geathers? BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! Man, what a joke! Thanks for the laugh!

  • The only players worth anything on this DF, are Cox, Thornton, Barwin, Boykin, & maybe Fletcher. Cole & Graham don’t fit, & need to go. Ryans is ok, but needs to be upgraded. Kendricks is good at open field tackles & the occasional blitz, but is too small to cover TE’s, & support the run, & not fast enough to cover WR’s & RB’s. Williams is an atrocity. Allen, Chung, Matthews need to exiled to Siberia. Wolff is too small, but might be a future, nickel/ dime cover Safety. A lot of holes, that should have started to have been upgraded last year! But the awesome talent evaluator, & the “Genius”, thought otherwise!

  • The ‘D’ is what it is: Lots of upgrades needed but coach Davis has them playing in an organized manner.

  • Paulman….while I agree Nate has played a lot better….I don’t want him back…micheal huff was released by ravens…shoot I would rather get him…see how he does…can’t hurt….I like fletcher also…but I’d rather draft a cb…or even get Talib…I know a lot will disagree but he is a young shutdown corner….don’t like Cary…but we are stuck with him

  • I want no Free-Agents..
    Build the Roster thruy the Draft and Caoaching them Up
    I’ve waited 50 Years already, what’s another 3-4-5 Years ..
    Can anyone name Recent Free-Agents signings that have actually performed better than the Previous Team and System they were in…
    I qam sure there are some success Stories, butis seems like ever big name that gets signed are a shell of themselves with their new Teams,
    Why even bother, Draft, Draft, Draft … Get them From Canada, Phillipines,
    Africa or Russia, but keep bringing them in..

    • I disagree Paul. These draft picks aren’t half as talented as some of these young Free Agents in the secondary, and need time to develop. There is no immediate impact in the draft from the secondary.

      Browner (26), Michael Jenkins (26), Byrd (26), Tillman (30), I would be fine with signing, but I still draft Clinton- Dixon, and another Safety.

      • I lkie Browner out of the aboce Group
        You didn’t like Jenkins last year when I suggested the Eagles take a good look, now you like him?? you told me he was garbage and injury prone
        Byrf has Foot Issues and Tillman on the wrong side of 30 so I would pass on both of them..

        • After teh last 3-4 Years worth of Free-Agent SIgnings where the Eagles have not had very much success, I see them doing very little in the Free-Agnecy Market.. GM Roseman has to be gun shy now since he’s missed on most of his signings.. I think the way to go is to Draft and Coach up Young players and mold them into your System like the Packers,Seahawks,49ers and Chiefs have done and stay away from big-name Free-Agent Signings.. It’s not like the Eagles are 2-3 Pieces/Players away from Legitimately conftending and they currently have $119 of the $125 Million in Roster Salary committed to 2014 with their Roster, so many players need to be Released and they will incur Cap-Penalities for doing so.. This $119 Million does not Includde Players who will be Free-Agents after 2013 ( Vick, Maclin, Nate R Cooper, Allen,Kurt Coleman,Colt Anderson) so if you let these 5 Players Walk, which I think they will, they still only have apprx $6 Million to work with including Draft Picks.. The Eagles Hands are severely tied this Off-Season to say the least.. Now I do expect them to attempt re-work Contracts on Players they may want to keep (D-Jax,Peters,Mathis,Herremans, Avant,Casey,T Cole Ryans,Cary Williams,P Chung etc,etc) but doing so with everyone is very difficult to do as really hurts locker room morale…. Plus there are some Young Players who may want more $$$ now that they have to contend with.(Thornton,Kendricks,Brown,F Cox)

          So 1 of 2 things are likely to happen
          Scenario 1 – Complete Clean house, – Release/Trade Avant,Celek,Herremans,T Cole, B Graham which frees up about $25 Million in Cap Space – the Cap Penalties, then rework Contracts of J Peters ($10 Million) D JAx ($12 Million) D Ryans ($6.9 MIllion)
          C WIlliams ($8 MIllion) and extend those Deals to spread out their $$$ over a few Seasons, but again, teh Players and their Agents would have to agree with this which is very difficult and even when doing so, causes a lot of bad feelings between the Player & Organization and other Players who feel the Team no longer stands behind their Contracts..

          Scenario #2 – (Keep the Core Players around for 2014, add a few pieces, Draft Well and hope that you can compete for a Playoff Spot

          Another thing to look out, If they let Vick walk which I think they will do and lets say Foles is not the answer moving Forward, what legitimate, experienced QB can the Eagles Sign with thier Current Cap Space..
          Theat’s right, no one …

          I read many posts why the Eagles didn’t max out on Salary Cap for this Season and the above list of the how they are in 2014 Cap wise is the Reason why… Huge Decisions about the Roster and about the Salaries and Contracts of Players will be difficult and critical to the Future Success of the Eagles … Where have you gone Joe Banner

        • We never discussed Michael Jenkins Paul, because, I would never have said that.

          • I don’t pass on Tillman. I don’t need Byrd if I can sign Jenkins, and draft Clinton – Dix though.

          • Selective Memory Cliff about Michael Jenkins
            I mentioned him a few time last off-season on how he fell out of Favor with the Cowboys and that he was unhappy not getting a long-term deal
            And then injurires and said he would be worth a look for he was fired up to return as a Starter in the NFL and to get back at Cowboys and you said he was garbage..

            • And bottom line Cliff, you go after and sign what you can afford
              Tillman is 30 +, has recent leg injuries and will command Top $$$
              (10 Million + per Season) , he is not worth it when the Eagłes need so many other pieces.. If the Eagłes were 1-2 Pieces away, then maybe, but they are 6-8 Players away and they can’t afford to blow their wad on 1-2 Players, it is what it is GMCliff..

              • Tillman is an option. If you are looking to stay young, yet looking for an immediate starter….Alteern Verneer?, But I have no problem signing Tillman.

            • Paul, Michael Jenkins plays safety for the Saints. That is the free agent available this year.

              I don’t recall posting with you about the Michael Jenkins you are referring to. The Safety for the Saints is who DCar, and myself are asking for.

            • Are you talking about Mike Jenkins, the CB, for the Cowboys? He is still injury prone. I wouldn’t try to sign him.

              But Michael Jenkins the Safety…Yes

              • That’s not selective memory. That’s your old age brother……
                Your scouting too many players Paul…..take five…please

        • That was Michael Huff who was garbage, and injury prone.

    • this would be great Paul IF the eagles could draft. They cannot. So…. you upgrade anyway you can. Especially if you arent paying for a QB.

      The 49ers added Boldin- great great move.
      The Saints added Brees- Amazing
      Look at the Broncos right now.
      Welker to the Pats
      Welker to Denver

      This team needs a monster NT
      This team needs a WR
      This team needs a FS with tude
      This team needs a QB
      This team needs an OG
      This team MAY need a 2nd QB

      Im not saying the Eagles go and land a crop of top notch FA’s. But…. if they landed a starting CB (ala Asam from a few years back), that goes a LONG way in building.

      They blew it with trying to get “steals” like Phillips. They need proven winners.

      • Well unless they begin to Starting Drafting better, then they will continue to bve in this Cycle of overpaying for Average Talent.. They cannot add 4-5 Stud Players at their Positions of Need due to their Current Salary Structure is the Bottom Line here,.
        Maybe now that Tom Gamble is here for the Entire Season and working with kelly & Davis, that he can made a bigger impact for next Off-Season via Free-Agency and Draft then he did this off-Season since he didn’t join the Club until late January/Febuary..

        • pman- i would NOT have the eagles nab 4-5 studs… thats not what I was saying….. but they have LOTS of big needs and the draft will not solve all of it.

          • I understand and hear you Steve,
            and to be honest with you, the Eagłes 2014 Salary Cap situation can’t allow for them to make 4-5 Big Signings anyways and unless they cut the same 5-6 Pkayers that I have mentioned and restructure another 3-4 Players Deals, which is difficult to do on a rebuilding Team,
            They will be fortunate to be able to only a few Pkayers period..
            As the Roster stands today, they have about $7-8 Million to play with next Off-Season before some releases happen with Players under Contract (Herremans, Avant, Celek, Cole, Graham, Chung, etc)
            Again this does include Vick, Maclin, Cooper,Nate Alken, Coleman & Anderson who all are not under Contract past this Season

      • Stevo – I agree with 2 of your Team needs.
        Jeff Lurie indicated yesterday on CSNPhilly QB will be addressed in the off season again ( kafke2011, foles2012, barkley2013).
        Wide Receiver – Cooper and Maclin are free agents so this position I believe will be the focus in free agency day one, I don’t think they wait until the draft to replace at least one ( cooper or maclin)

  • Get Roseman a job with Joseph Bank and Sons. He’s better suited for it.

  • Free Agency will be used on WR —
    Cooper, Avant, Maclin, DJax, Maehl, DJohnson, DJax’s positions on this team are all in jeopardy for 2014. I don’t know how many free agents will be signed to replace current players but I believe it will be more than one.
    Maclin and Cooper are Eagle Free Agents in 2014.

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