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After a rumor-filled offseason, Jimmy Garoppolo is back for another season in New England. And despite his current role, the Patriots quarterback says being a backup has been somewhat unfamiliar territory.

“We were just talking about this in the locker room,” Garoppolo told Sports Illustrated. “Tom Brady is the only quarterback I’ve ever backed up.”

Garoppolo told SI he tried to shut himself out from the persistent trade rumors this past offseason, after showing promise in two fill-in starts in 2016.


“I try not to think about it much, but it’s always in the back of my mind,” said the expected 2018 free agent.

Noting the two Super Rings he’s won in his short career, Garoppolo says he’s happy backing up the near-40-year-old Brady — even if he’s still not used to it.

“I wouldn’t say I’m frustrated,” he said. “Eager to play is probably a better way to put it. I’m just not used to being a backup. I want to be a starter, and compete to be a starter.”

Asked if he saw himself as a starter, he added: “One day.”

Considering Brady’s desire to keep playing until he’s around 45, Garoppolo might have some decisions to make next offseason if he wants that day to come before he’s past 30.