The Patriots may not have a game this week, but that hasn’t stopped them from making moves to try and make sure they’re a better football team when they come out of the bye next week.
New England shuffled their practice squad on Wednesday, with Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reporting that the team cut four players after releasing LB Dekoda Watson, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, DT Joe Vellano and OL Chris Barker.
#Patriots released LB Dekoda Watson and WR Kenbrell Thompkins, DT Joe Vellano and OL Chris Barker from the practice squad
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 30, 2015
He also reported they made a trade with the Saints, giving up tight end Michael Hoomanawanui and in exchange, according to NOLA.com, acquired defensive end Akiem Hicks.
Hoomanawanui was among several inactives on Sunday and the decision to move him is interesting given that the team currently has Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler and Michael Williams on their tight end depth chart, the latter of which seemed to leapfrog Hoomanawanui. Hoomanawanui had been a decent contributor over the past several seasons as more of a blocking tight end, although with Gronkowski fully healthy last season his production dropped off in the passing game. He caught just three passes for 44 yards, down from the 12 he caught in 2013 – his best season – for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Hicks, who is just 25 years old, is a former 3rd round pick in his fourth season and had his best year in 2013 where he finished with 56 tackles along with 4.5 sacks. He played in 15 games in 2014 and finished with 41 tackles and 2 sacks, and has just two tackles so far in 2015.
Given today’s moves, the Patriots likely aren’t done yet and have already been busy having made an earlier move after acquiring linebacker Jonathan Bostic from the Bears on Monday.
Posted Under: Patriots News