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Saints Acquire TE Michael Hoomanawanui in Trade With Patriots

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According to a tweet from Ben Volin, the New Orleans Saints have traded with the New England Patriots for tight end Michael Hoomanawanui.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Now we know why the Saints freed up $2.6 million in cap space today by restructuring Drew Brees' contract. The details of the trade for Hoomanawanui (Try saying that fast three times!) are not yet known, but based on past trades between the Saints and Patriots, it may involve future draft picks and may be conditional based on performance.

Sean Payton said this morning in his conference call that they may be looking to add a TE to the roster. Now we know he wasn't kidding. It's odd that he has suddenly become so forthcoming with the media regarding the Saints roster and future plans. In the past, we'd never have a clue that deals like this were coming.

Here's some info on the Saints' new TE from Michael David Smith:

The 27-year-old Hoomanawanui was a fifth-round draft pick of the Rams out of Illinois in 2010 and has been with the Patriots since 2012. He's in the final year of his current contract and has a base salary of $800,000, which means the Saints will pay him $658,000 for the remainder of the season.

Hoomanawanui is a solid blocker and occasionally receiver who has largely been phased out of the Patriots' offense and barely played this year. In New Orleans he'll join a tight end group that includes Ben Watson and Josh Hill.

UPDATE

The trade reportedly sent DE Akiem Hicks to the Patriots. Maybe it was a straight-up player for player trade and does not involve a future draft pick? That would be welcomed news. Hicks was in Sean Payton's doghouse recently for reasons not exactly known other than his performance on the field not meeting team expectations. His playing time over the past two games had been drastically reduced.

According to Michael David Smith, the Saints are actually FREEING UP cap space with this move! How about them apples? It's usually the other way around.

The Saints are desperate for cap space and will save about $600,000 through this trade because Hicks costs more than Hoomananui: Hicks has a base salary of $1,529,500 this season, while Hoomanawanui has a base salary of $800,000. That means the Saints will pay Hoomanawanui $658,000 for the rest of the season and the Patriots will pay Hicks $1,258,778 for the rest of the season. Both Hicks and Hoomanawanui are free agents after this season.

How could we not like this trade?