Issac Sopoaga

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dapperdan

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Of the potential free agent DT's, it's expected that the top DT, Albert Haynesworth of the Titans, will get franchised. Next in the pecking order of free agent DT's is Corey Williams of the Packers. Williams would be a very nice addition, but given the lack of overall DT talent in free agency and the high demand for the position, especially after the Giants win in the Superbowl, there is going to be substantial competition for Williams. Not saying that the Saints can't, or won't, sign Williams, but there will be fierce competition for Williams. Maybe 8-10 teams vying for his services, which means that there'd be about an 85% or better chance that the Saints won't sign Williams.

So, on the next level, who should the Saints look at...I would throw the name of Issac Sopoaga into the ring.

Here's the reason why. Sopoaga is one of the strongest players in the NFL. But, imo, he has been miscast as a 3-4 NT. The guy is athletic for his size and strength. He's got more to offer than just being a 2-gap DT or 3-4 NT. His play improved significantly this past year for the 49ers, playing mostly as a NT, but also shifting out to LDE on occassion to spell Bryant Young. Frankly, Sopoaga would make a very nice 4-3 DT, and imo, would make a very nice addition to the Saints defensive line.
 

Joodas Avila

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THANK YOU!!! I have been saying this same thing since week 12. He's a pure run stuffer, and will open up the pass rush for the rest of our line, namely Will and Charles.

I would prefer us getting Sedrick Ellis, or picking up Corey Williams, but Ike Sopoaga would probably be a steal in free agency. I say we go after him any ways.
 
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Yeah I was surprised the 49ers were willing to let Sopoaga hit the free agent market. The one knock on him is that he hasn't lived up to his potential yet, but he also hasn't been given the chance to be the guy, as he's behind Aubrayo Franklin on the depth chart.

But yeah, he's only 26 and you're right -- he's one of the strongest players in the league by far. My only fear is that his combo of strength and athleticism will actually make him more hotly pursued than Williams. But either way, at least there's two great tackles to pursue instead of one.
 
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dapperdan

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You guys have no idea. Im a 49ers fan, as well, and Sopoaga is our no.1 priority to resign in the offseason. No way the 49ers let him go.
Things can always change, but as of now, per Matt Barrows at the Sac Bee, and I'll check to confirn with Maiocco's blog but I'm pretty sure Maiocco is reporting the same, that the 49ers plan to allow the open market to determine Sopoaga's salary. In other words, they plan on allowing him to become a free agent.

http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/49ers/

Question: In the recent "not want to play tag" bit, there are only 3 out of 11 positions (in which the franchise-tag number) is less than DT. With Haynesworth likely off the market, someone is sure to overpay to get Sopoaga because of supply and demand. Do you think it might be a better idea to reconsider slapping the tag on this guy?.
Jason, Sacramento

Answer: I agree with you about the risk of some DT-desperate team throwing a lot of money Sopoaga’s way and luring him out of San Francisco. And who knows – at the end of the day, $6.4 million could seem like a bargain for keeping a highly-valued player. (Search: Smiley, Justin and “guard salaries”). The conundrum here is the opposite of the one involving Douglas. In Sopoaga, you have a guy who absolutely teems with potential but who never really has displayed it consistently on the field. Do you commit a big chunk of change toward potential that might never be untapped? The 49ers definitely want Sopoaga back and could cut an 11th-hour deal with him following the scouting combine (where execs chit chat and the market rates grow a little clearer). As of now, however, they appear poised to follow the same game plan they’ll use for Douglas. That is, allow the open market to determine Sopoaga’s worth.
 
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Things can always change, but as of now, per Matt Barrows at the Sac Bee, and I'll check to confirn with Maiocco's blog but I'm pretty sure Maiocco is reporting the same, that the 49ers plan to allow the open market to determine Sopoaga's salary. In other words, they plan on allowing him to become a free agent.

http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/49ers/

Question: In the recent "not want to play tag" bit, there are only 3 out of 11 positions (in which the franchise-tag number) is less than DT. With Haynesworth likely off the market, someone is sure to overpay to get Sopoaga because of supply and demand. Do you think it might be a better idea to reconsider slapping the tag on this guy?.
Jason, Sacramento

Answer: I agree with you about the risk of some DT-desperate team throwing a lot of money Sopoaga’s way and luring him out of San Francisco. And who knows – at the end of the day, $6.4 million could seem like a bargain for keeping a highly-valued player. (Search: Smiley, Justin and “guard salaries”). The conundrum here is the opposite of the one involving Douglas. In Sopoaga, you have a guy who absolutely teems with potential but who never really has displayed it consistently on the field. Do you commit a big chunk of change toward potential that might never be untapped? The 49ers definitely want Sopoaga back and could cut an 11th-hour deal with him following the scouting combine (where execs chit chat and the market rates grow a little clearer). As of now, however, they appear poised to follow the same game plan they’ll use for Douglas. That is, allow the open market to determine Sopoaga’s worth.
You are absolutely correct. The only free agent the 49ers wanted to re-sign before free agency begins was Shaun Hill. They are letting everyone else hit the market. And I know Sopoaga (and Marques Douglas) are going to get more on the open market than the 49ers will pay.
 
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