METAIRIE, La. — The New England Patriots have traded tight end Michael Hoomanawanui to the New Orleans Saints for defensive tackle Akiem Hicks.

Hicks’ agent, Frank Murtha, has confirmed the trade.

Hoomanawanui started 12 games for New England last season, making three catches. He’s played in two games as a reserve this season without a catch. He has caught 20 passes for 289 yards with one touchdown in four seasons and 45 games with the Patriots.

Hicks, a third-round draft choice by New Orleans in 2012, has been a starter since 2013 and was at Saints practice Wednesday. Recently, however, Saints coach Sean Payton has trimmed Hicks’ playing time, saying production on the interior defensive line improved by rotating in other players. Payton also has said this week that he’s concerned about New Orleans’ depth at tight end.