Sorry, bro, you're gonna need to get a new haircut.
For the first time in a long time, Bill Belichik is doing something that he never really does early in the regular season: trades. The Patriots have reportedly landed their seventh player this season via trade in defensive tackle/end Akiem Hicks.
Wednesday afternoon, the Patriots announced they had traded Michael Hoomanawanaui, who has been on the team since 2012, to the New Orleans Saints for defensive interior lineman Akiem Hicks.
On paper, this looks to be a fantastic trade for the defending World Champions. Hooman had slid all the way down to 4th on the Tight End depth chart and had zero catches so far this season. The 5th round pick in the 2010 draft provided great depth for the Patriots, but never truly flashed in the blocking or passing game.
As the Patriots have surprisingly struggled at stopping the run this season, the move for a run-stopping large body seems smart. Hicks, who has started 33 games in 3 seasons, should be thrown right into the mix as the Patriots will battle against a great offensive line in the Dallas Cowboys.
The 6-foot-5, 324 pound former Regina Ram (I guess thats a college?) was moved to the defensive end position this season and has struggled mightily. With the likes of Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, etc., manning the ends, Hicks looks to move back to his more natural position in the interior line.
Hicks will most likely be a back-up, but provides good depth. The Patriots currently rotate Sealver Siliga, Alan Branch, Malcom Brown and Dominique Easley at defensive tackle. However, this trade provides virtually no risk to the Patriots, as they receive a compensatory pick if Hicks walks in free agency after the 2015 season.
By Pete Packowski