Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo wants to play, open to extension

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After an offseason of trade speculation, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finds himself back in his familiar spot with the New England Patriots. He said Tuesday it is where he wants to be -- possibly beyond 2017, the final year of his contract.

"I'd entertain any possibility," he said, when asked if he would be open to a contract extension with the club. "I'm not really thinking about it too much right now. There's so much going on with OTAs and training camp right around the corner, that's where my focus is. We'll cross that bridge when we get there, I guess."

Garoppolo, 25, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. His future with the Patriots is naturally tied to starting quarterback Tom Brady, who turns 40 on Aug. 3.

Brady is signed through the 2019 season, and Garoppolo has maintained patience as his backup since joining the Patriots as a second-round draft choice out of Eastern Illinois in 2014.

"Obviously, I want to play. That's the competitor in me. I think everyone out here wants to play," he said. "We come out here and compete every day for that opportunity and if you go out and earn it, it's yours. ... Nothing is going to be given to you, especially here."

Garoppolo laughed when a reporter asked if he has ever queried Brady about how much longer he plans to play. Brady recently told that he hopes to play into his mid-40s.

"I don't think I've ever asked him that, but he's very helpful, on the field, off the field, with things in life," Garoppolo said. "He's been kind of a like a big brother to me."

As for the trade speculation, Garoppolo said he mostly blocked it out during the offseason, and that he doesn't spend much time pondering his future. Asked if he was surprised to still be with the Patriots, who have Brady, him and Jacoby Brissett on the depth chart for the second year in a row, Garoppolo said: "I'm glad to be here."

"I love it," he added. "Very fortunate situation to come into a place, get drafted here. There are good people all around the building, from the support staff to the lunch ladies and everything. It's everybody. It sounds crazy, but it's just a good group of people and it rubs off on each other."