CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers have traded defensive end Kony Ealy to the New England Patriots, along with a third-round draft pick, the Panthers announced Friday.

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Carolina receives New England's second-round pick in return. With the trade, the Panthers pick eights spots ahead, going from the 72nd pick to the 64th pick.

Ealy played three seasons in the NFL, all with the Panthers. The defensive end recorded 43 tackles and 14 sacks in 47 games played.

Earlier Friday, the agent of Julius Peppers announced that his client is "headed home" to play for what will be his second stint the Panthers. Peppers, a three-time NFL All-Pro, spent the first eight years of his career in Carolina and has accumulated 143.5 sacks over the course of his 15-year career.