In an 11th hour move that shows that Bill Belichick's love of trading with the Philadelphia Eagles didn't die with the departure of Andy Reid, the Patriots have just acquired defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga and a 6th round draft pick in exchange for a 2014 5th rounder.
Originally drafted by the 49ers in 2004, Sopoaga has spent time at tackle, end, and even as a blocking fullback. He's a big guy at 6'2", 330 pounds, and is unbelievably strong - like 42 reps on the bench press strong. Sopoaga is no stranger to the 3-4 defense and is able to transition between end and tackle fairly easily. At 32, he's definitely on the back end of his career, but he's a reliable, consistent defensive lineman with good football intelligence and a strong first push.
Is Sopoaga a replacement for Vince Wilfork? Of course not; Big Vince is a one of a kind player. Is Sopoaga a nice pickup that should help shore up the middle of the field against the run? Absolutely. I'll be curious to see whether the Pats decide to go back to the 3-4 once Sopoaga gets himself acclimated, whether they use him primarily on early downs, or whether they line him up all over the field, but no matter what this move is a nice pickup for a relatively low cost that can only help the team in an area of need.
The only problem is, between Sopoaga and Michael Hoomanawanui, Dan Dierdorf may very well have a seizure the next time he calls a Pats game.