Saturday, September 20, 2014
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Nose out of joint: Birds trade Sopoaga

Several of the Eagles' offseason free agent and trade acquisitions have been less than they'd hoped for, and right up there on that list has been 32-year-old nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, who was traded to New England today.

Nose out of joint: Birds trade Sopoaga

As the 4 p.m. NFL trade deadline approached, the Eagles made a minor deal, dispatching 32-year-old nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga to New England, along with a sixth-round pick next spring, for a fifth-rounder, also in 2014.

Astute observers will note that the Pats' pick is likely to be near the end of the fifth, and the Eagles' pick is likely to be in the upper half of the sixth round, so, bascially, what the Eagles did was get Sopoaga off their roster without embarrassing the 10-year veteran by deactivating or releasing him.

Sopoaga was a starter, getting 47 snaps against the Giants, but not a particularly productive one, with nine solo tackles in eight games. He came to the Eagles from the San Francisco 49ers, former home of Eagles personnel VP Tom Gamble. Sopoaga started for the 49ers last season but usually played about a quarter of the snaps.

From the get-go with the Eagles, he seemed to have little left. The Eagles have some young defensive linemen, such as third-round rookie Bennie Logan and undrafted rookie Damion Square, they'd like to get on the field more. And if Logan, who also played defensive end, gets more snaps at nose tackle, where you'd have to think he is now the starter, that frees up more d-end snaps for Vinny Curry.

Curry, the 2012 second-round pick who only played a dozen defensive snaps Sunday against the Giants, had been mentioned in trade rumors Tuesday, but a league source said the Eagles did not actively shop him. Curry is a strong pass-rusher but might be more suited to a 4-3 than to the 3-4 setup the Birds have adopted under Chip Kelly and Bill Davis.

Curry said after practice (but a few hours before the deadline) he wasn't sweating it. "I'm just getting ready for Oakland," he said. "I'll just leave that to the upstairs department. I just come to work every day, ready to work."

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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