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Patriots trade for Saints returner Jalen Saunders

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick was using joint practices with the New Orleans Saints to prepare his team for the 2015 season.

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But he was apparently doing a little window shopping as well.

On Tuesday, Belichick swung a trade for Saints return specialist Jalen Saunders, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the deal. The news was first reported by ESPN.

Belichick might have just been trying to avoid the clamorous post-cut free agency period with the deal. Saunders might have lost the return job to Marcus Murphy in New Orleans and was a cut candidate heading into the roster downsizing period.

Saunders, 22, was a fourth-round pick by the New York Jets during a regrettable 2014 draft piloted by short-term general manager John Idzik. Saunders was cut on Sept. 29 of that year, just three games into his rookie season.

Since then, Saunders bounced from the Cardinals' practice squad to Seattle's. He landed on the Saints' active roster last November.

Now, the speedy return threat has a new home in Foxborough. Per Rapoport, the deal is for a future conditional seventh-round pick.

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