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Isaac Sopoaga traded to New England Patriots

After acquiring cornerback Aqib Talib with seconds to spare at last year's deadline, the New England Patriots pulled off the NFL's lone deadline trade on Tuesday.


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With Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork out for the season, the Patriots moved to fix their struggling run defense by acquiring defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga and a 2014 sixth-round draft pick from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2014 fifth-round draft pick, a Philadelphia source tells NFL Media's Albert Breer.

The Eagles later confirmed the move.

Minus Wilfork, defensive lineman Tommy Kelly and linebacker Jerod Mayo, the Patriots shifted from a 4-3 front to more 3-4 looks against the Miami Dolphins last week.

Sopoaga has played roughly 40 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps this season as a situational run stopper. He's not going to replace Wilfork's presence and production on the interior, but Sopoaga's experience at nose tackle will allow the Patriots to continue to run the 3-4 scheme to compensate for the key injuries on defense.

The Eagles could afford to part with Sopoaga now that Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton have emerged as one of the most imposing defensive end tandems against the run.

Realizing they are fortunate to be 6-2 against a soft schedule, the Patriots are feverishly working to fix a defense that has surrendered 156.5 rushing yards per game since Wilfork landed on injured reserve.

Sopoaga isn't a cure-all, but his addition allows coach Bill Belichick to tinker with moving parts in search of a solution.

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