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Patriots acquire linebacker Barkevious Mingo from Browns

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Barkevious Mingo did not register a sack last season for the Cleveland Browns.David Dermer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Patriots pulled off another trade Thursday afternoon, acquiring outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo from the Browns in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2017.

Mingo was the sixth overall pick in 2013. Mike Lombardi, who recently served as an assistant to the Patriots coaching staff, was the Browns general manager when Mingo was selected.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pounder has started just 16 of 46 career games and has only seven sacks in three seasons. He had just 13 tackles and zero sacks in 2015.

Mingo didn't live up to expectations in Cleveland after a brilliant three-year run at Louisiana State, where he collected 119 tackles, including 29 for losses, and 15 sacks.

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Browns vice president of football operations Sashi Brown hinted at his disappointment in Mingo's performance Thursday when he told reporters before the trade that Barkevious was "working hard and he's showing up on [special] teams. We like to see him show up more in the defense but he's working both at inside linebacker and outside linebacker positions.''

New England could use pass-rushing help with defensive ends Jabaal Sheard (reported MCL sprain) and Rob Ninkovich (torn triceps) and outside linebacker Shea McClellin (undisclosed) nursing injuries.

Mingo is set to become a free agent following the 2016 season after his fifth-year option was declined.

It was the second straight day New England made a trade, after sending center Bryan Stork to the Redskins for a conditional 2017 seventh-round draft pick Wednesday.

Though the Patriots traded their first-round pick in 2013, they now have the sixth and seventh (guard Jonathan Cooper) overall picks from that year on their roster. They did well with their first pick in that draft, grabbing linebacker Jamie Collins in the second round with the 52d overall selection.

No big deal?

It's here. The third exhibition game. The dress rehearsal. The first big test.

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The consensus is that the third game most resembles a regular-season contest — one that gives everyone a glimpse of what teams may look like when wins and losses count.

Not everyone shares that sentiment, however.

"Yeah, I think [it's a bit overrated],'' said veteran tight end Martellus Bennett, whose Patriots visit Carolina on Friday. Bennett, in his ninth season and with his fourth team, said his mentality is always the same when he steps on the field.

"All my snaps are full speed," he said. "I don't slow down. I just go full speed the whole time.

"It's just like the same . . . whether it's regular season or preseason. The same. I put my pants on the same way. I put my shoes on the same way, tie them the same way. The same gloves, the same facemask.''

Bill Belichick also disputed the notion that the third game is the most important when he was asked if the Panthers would be a good measuring stick for his club.

"I think this is a good opportunity for us to compete against arguably as good a team as any in the league,'' said the coach. "All that being said, we're not talking about a regular-season game here. We're not talking about game planning and all those kinds of things, which I can't imagine would happen in this game — but they're going to happen in a couple of weeks, so it's a whole different ballgame.

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"I don't think you can compare this game to a regular-season game, even though I've heard people try to do that. I'm not sure what game they're looking at."

Branch reinstated

Alan Branch has been reinstated after a one-week team suspension. It's unknown what the transgression was that got the veteran defensive tackle in hot water . . . Fullback James Develin had his 2015 season end because of a broken leg suffered in the third exhibition game at Carolina, but that's the farthest thing from his mind. "Absolutely not, man,'' said Develin, when asked if had any apprehension about returning to Bank of America Stadium. "The past is the past and I'm just looking forward to getting out there and playing another game with my team.'' . . . Bennett was a harsh critic when assessing his play through camp and two exhibition games. "There's no part of my game that's good,'' he said. "That's the thing about football — you can play it all your life and you'll never become the best at it. It's about constantly growing.''

Waiving goodbyeTwo former Patriots running backs were waived Thursday: Jonas Gray by the Jaguars and Stevan Ridley by the Lions . . . Looking ahead to the 2017 draft, the Patriots have picks in every round but the fifth. They acquired a fourth from Seattle (New England forfeited its own fourth as part of the Deflategate sanctions) and acquired a conditional seventh in the Stork deal. They originally sent their seventh to the Lions in the Michael Williams deal last year . . . Fun Mingo fact: Barkevious has an older brother named Hughtavious.

Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.