Barkevious Mingo never really fit in with the Browns.
The Patriots will try to find an ideal spot for him.
A major disappointment in Cleveland, Mingo, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 draft was traded to New England on Thursday.
The Browns received a fifth-round pick in the 2017 draft for the linebacker.
Mingo, a former LSU standout, has recorded just seven sacks in three seasons and spent much of last season on special teams.
Mingo's size - 6-foot-4, 240 pounds - and speed have made him intriguing, but Cleveland's coaching staff couldn't find the best way to utilize him. The Browns moved the 25-year-old Mingo from outside linebacker to inside earlier this summer.
Cleveland declined to exercise the fifth-year option on Mingo's rookie contract in May. With the trade of Mingo, left tackle Joe Thomas and cornerbacks Joe Haden and Justin Gilbert are the only first-round selections by Cleveland from 2007 to 2014 that are still with the team.
The Browns now own Philadelphia's 2017 first-round pick, Tennessee's 2017 second-round pick, New England's 2017 fifth-round pick, Indianapolis' 2017 seventh-round pick and Philadelphia's 2018 second-round pick. Cleveland has conditionally surrendered its 2017 fourth-round pick to Philadelphia and its 2017 sixth- or seventh-round pick to San Francisco.
It is the second move New England has made this week after dealing center Bryan Stork to Washington.
While the Browns have had trouble finding somewhere to play Mingo, he has shown a diverse skillset while getting 97 tackles and seven sacks in 46 games.
The Patriots don't have a great deal of depth behind veteran linebackers Dont'a Hightower, Jaime Collins and Jonathan Freeny, so Mingo could possibly make an impact there.
There's also an opportunity for him on the outside, with two of the Patriots' pass rushers that were projected to have key roles this season - Rob Ninkovich and Jabaal Sheard - working their way back from injuries.