Hoomanawanui was listed as inactive on Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and last played in the game against the Buffalo Bills.
In his previous three seasons with the Patriots, he had one touchdown and 20 catches for 289 yards. Part of the reasoning behind the trade was likely the rise of the up and coming tight end Mike Williams, who was originally an offensive tackle.
As well as Williams, the Patriots also have Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler at tight end.
Hicks was entering his fourth year with the Saints and the last year of his rookie contract, he was set to become an unrestricted free agent during this off season.
He played only the first half of the game against the Buccaneers and only 28 snaps during the game with the Panthers.
Hicks had 33 career starts with the Saints with 69 tackles and 6.5 sacks. He will be joining Patriots defensive ends Trey Flowers, Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich and Jabaal Sheard.