The Patriots traded tight end AJ Derby to the Denver Broncos for what sources said was a 2017 fifth-round draft pick.
Derby, a 2015 sixth-round pick out of Arkansas, impressed many in the preseason as New England's No. 3 tight end. He played 35 offensive snaps in four games after spending his rookie season on injured reserve.
In the deal with Detroit, New England will exchange its sixth-round pick of the 2017 draft for the Lions' seventh-round slot, a source said.