WOW is right. Make no mistake, this trade has nothing to do with who the Saints are receiving. Sure, the Saints are relatively weak at tight end, and Michael Hoomanawanui might be a half decent pass catcher, but this deal is all about getting rid of Akiem Hicks. A player who once showed such promise, and a player who has all but disappeared since showing that promise. In 2013, Junior Galette, Akiem Hicks, and Cameron Jordan were terrorizing offensive lines, but I haven't seen that same Akiem Hicks since. I admit, I don't always spend a lot of time studying the play of the defensive line, but he has been completely invisible for the last year and three games. While he's not the only one that has failed to perform up to expectations, he is the only one that sat sulking after he was benched due to his ineffectiveness.
This may not help the Saints from a talent perspective, but it certainly sends a message to the locker room. A message that should have been made clear to Akiem Hicks over the offseason. If you act like you are above the team then you will be removed from the team. It would be one thing if he was a pain in the ass that was contributing something- no- anything on the field. You can stink, you can pout, but you can't do both at the same time. If Akiem Hicks goes to the Patriots and performs well then so be it, but he's been given more than enough chances to do so in New Orleans. At some point you have to realize that a player that you once had such high hopes for is being outplayed by a rookie 5th round draft pick. The idea of Akiem Hicks, the powerful pocket pusher, finally outgrew the reality of Akiem Hicks, the average defensive lineman that is far too often overmatched given his measurables. His contract is up at the end of the year and according to the first 3 games, he's wasn't going to offer up anything of substance the rest of this season, or be signed beyond this season. Let's hope Michael Hoomanawanui can increase the production from the tight end position, because at this point it really shouldn't be too hard. However, this trade was all about sticking to a philosophy that Sean Payton adopted over the summer. A philosophy that was put in place to clean up a locker room that had turned into an unmitigated disaster. A philosophy that apparently showed that keeping Akiem Hicks the football player wasn't worth keeping Akiem Hicks the teammate.