Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

29 Oct 2013

Pats Trade for Isaac Sopoaga

What is a starting nose tackle of some acclaim worth? The answer, apparently, is the difference between a fifth-round pick and a sixth-round pick.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 29 Oct 2013

17 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2013, 2:21pm by Anonymousse

Comments

1
by JFP :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 6:19pm

Championship! Belichick playing chess while everyone else plays checkers.

3
by LionInAZ :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 6:28pm

Is Sopoaga going to QB while Brady's hand heals?

4
by killwer :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 7:49pm

So if the 29th ranked defense is willing to trade their starting NT, what does that say about their starting NT?

5
by bubqr :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 8:40pm

He has been pretty bad. I know a NT is not supposed to makes plays and all, but he bareley held double teams, and could not beat a block to save his life. Very disappointing acquisition.

7
by Cro-Mags :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 11:43pm

Barely holding a double team is an upgrade over what Wilfork and Kelly's two rookie backups are doing there now.

9
by dryheat :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 9:19am

I've actually been impressed with those two guys, at least until the first half of the Miami game. But they both played virtually the entire game. That definitely needs to change. Right now, it's hard to imagine somebody better than Ike Sapoaga being available -- wide bodies are always in demand. IIRC, Belichick tried to sign him as a free agent, so there's some familiarity there.

8
by CBPodge :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 6:28am

He was a decent blocker as a full back in power situations though. Did it quite a lot with the 49ers. Now the Pats are a power running team, maybe he's changing sides of the ball.

I'm not being serious. But now I think of it, this is Bill Belicheck, and he's not had a defensive player catch a TD pass for a while...

11
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 9:24am

He's a rotation guy at a position where the rotation has become particularly short.

For what amounts to essentially nothing, its a good move.

2
by JFP :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 6:22pm

Sorry - Double posted.

6
by RickD :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 11:37pm

Seems like a low price.

Low risk move.

10
by DEW (not verified) :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 9:19am

Paying very little to acquire a player who has been good in previous years (and let's face it, just getting out of Philly can help make a player look better, see, eg., DRC) to shore up a position of injury-created weakness to help with a SB push where the team has a good record in a very weak conference? Yeah, no question this is a good move. The Pats have to be considered one of the top SB contenders in the weak AFC (Denver has defensive woes, KC has offensive woes and has played nobody, Cincy's offense is likewise suspect, I don't see anyone believing in the Wayne-less Colts as genuine contenders, so despite all their own issues I can't claim that the Pats are anything but right in the thick of it) and making a low-risk, potentially high-reward move like this makes perfect sense.

12
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 11:54am

Jeez, I'd even say you're exaggerating when you say that the difference between a 5th round pick and a 6th round pick is "very little."

It's *nothing*. Think about it. The Patriots are 6-2. They'll probably end up with 10 or 11 wins, maybe even 12 (they should be favored versus the Steelers, Houston, Browns, Ravens, Dolphins and Bills).

The Eagles are 3-5. They'll probably win around 3 more games: Minnesota, Washington, and Oakland. So they'll probably end 6-10 or so.

So it's not just the difference between a 5th round pick and a 6th round pick. It's the difference between a 5th round Patriots pick (low), and a 6th round Eagles pick (high). It's probably going to be like, 10-15 selections. In the 5th round! Whoop de doo.

Basically the Patriots just got a player for free, so I'm hoping the Eagles were planning on flat cutting Sopoaga entirely.

13
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 12:43pm

If you do the math out (according to the Jimmy Johnson chart), the value is about 5 points, which is somewhere around the 25th pick in the 7th round.

The 25 pick in the 7th round basically gives you the ability to suppress a UDFA's signing bonus by about 5 grand. So, essentially, the Patriots just payed $5K for Sopoaga.

14
by maxnote :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 2:34pm

I think the 7th round pick is more about exclusive rights than the signing bonus.

17
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 2:21pm

Right, but we're talking about exclusive rights to negotiate with a guy who has about a 5% chance of making it through the preseason cuts.

15
by DLey (not verified) :: Thu, 10/31/2013 - 4:46am

As an Eagles fan, its honestly not a bad trade. You'll make up for the loss of your backup NT (can't replace Wilfork obviously) and you swap a 5th round pick for a 6th. Knowing Belichick, he'll make the most out of that draft pick.

16
by DLey (not verified) :: Thu, 10/31/2013 - 4:46am

As an Eagles fan, its honestly not a bad trade. You'll make up for the loss of your backup NT (can't replace Wilfork obviously) and you swap a 5th round pick for a 6th. Knowing Belichick, he'll make the most out of that draft pick.