In exchange for Saunders, the Saints will reportedly receive a conditional draft pick.
Saunders, a fourth-round selection by the New York Jets in the 2014 draft, played six games with New York before being released and picked up by Arizona's practice squad and then Seattle's.
Saunders was placed on New Orleans' active roster in November, and played in three games with the Saints last season.
In his rookie year, Saunders caught one pass for sevens yards. He also had 15 punt returns for 125 total yards, and three kickoff returns for 139 total yards.
New England's interest in Saunders was piqued during joint practices with New Orleans in August.
This preseason, Saunders has played just five special-teams snaps and has not yet appeared on offense.
The Patriots open the 2015 season against the Steelers on Sept. 10.
- Kayla Lombardo