Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the Bengals will receive two draft picks, a 2012 fifth-rounder and a 2013 sixth-rounder.
Ochocinco was scheduled to make $6.35 million for the Bengals this year. The Patriots wanted him to restructure his contract for salary-cap purposes.
Although the trade might not be officially done yet, Ochocinco was present on the Patriots' practice field Friday morning, where he can watch, but not participate. Ochocinco was seen spending time with Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien prior to practice.
The 10-year veteran caught 67 passes for 831 yards and four touchdowns last season. That was a drop-off from 2009, the last of his six Pro Bowl years, when Ochocinco had 72 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine TDs.
He has seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons, leading the league with 1,369 in 2006.
Ochocinco provides another option for Brady, who has been without a deep target since the Patriots traded Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings last season. In 10 seasons, all with the Bengals, Ochocinco has 751 catches for 10,783 yards and 66 touchdowns.
Despite Brady throwing for 3,900 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2010, the Pats didn't have a 1,000-yard receiver. Wes Welker led the team with 848 yards.
Moss was traded after only four games last season despite 1,264 receiving yards and a team-high 13 touchdowns in 2009.
Despite Ochocinco's outlandish personality and propensity for making headlines with his mouth, the veteran wide receiver has a good relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The two developed a bond at the Pro Bowl several years ago, and prior to a preseason game two seasons ago, microphones caught the two exchanging some good-natured ribbing.
"It became a relationship beyond a football player and coach," Ochocinco said last September before the Bengals faced the Patriots. "He became a friend of mine.
"He's one that I look up to tremendously. One who I've never played for but who I share the same respect for as if he was my own head coach."
Belichick returned the compliment.
"It's an odd couple," Belichick said at the time, drawing some laughter from media members. "But in the end, I think we have a lot of things in common.
"I like Chad. I like him as a player, I like him as a person. I like his enthusiasm and the fun he has in football, and how he competes on the football field."
John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.