Months after signing a free agent deal that included a $2.75 million signing bonus, Isaac Sopoaga was traded by the Philadelphia Eagles to the New England Patriots Tuesday. Photo courtesy:Philadelphiaeagles.com
After playing exactly half of a season in Philadelphia since signing as a free agent in March, defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga was traded Tuesday to the New England Patriots.
The Eagles sent Sopoaga and a sixth round pick in the 2014 NFL draft to the Patriots in exchange for a fifth round choice in 2014.
Sopoaga signed as a free agent from the San Francisco 49ers was heralded as a three-down nose tackle and agreed to a contract that included a $2.75 million signing bonus in March. Through eight games the 32-year old never lived up to expectations, accounting for just 10 tackles this season.
Trading Sopoaga will likely benefit rookie third-round draft choice Benny Logan, who the team is very high on, and Damion Square as well as Clifton Geathers.
Geathers has five tackles so far this season and has seen expanded playing time in recent weeks. The 25-year old drew high praise from defensive coordinator Billy Davis Tuesday.
"Cliff is one of our best run defenders," Davis told reporters Tuesday. "When teams step up and start throwing those two‑back runs at us, all of a sudden, we put big Cliff in and he's a handful for them. So he's gotten better and better as we go. There are some people that come out, Dallas was all spread you out, empty, and it wasn't the downhill run game. New York came back and presented a two-back downhill run game and played better and really just got to show what Cliff's capable and what his strengths are is really what happened there."
After the trade with New England the Eagles now have their own picks in rounds one through five and seven, as well as the Patriots fifth round choice.
As far as financials go, the Patriots will pay Sopoaga $529,000 this year and inherit two nonguaranteed 2014 and 2015 salaries of $3.75 million and $3.5 million respectively. In all likelihood, the Patriots will release him at the end of the year before his salary escalates to those levels.
The Eagles could eventually use the added draft choice as added ammunition to move up and select a franchise quarterback in the draft.
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.