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Bill Belichick: 'Better off being early than late' at QB

The New England Patriots used their lone Day 2 selection on a player that, with any luck, won't see the field in 2014: quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

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"With the situation we have at quarterback... I think you're better off being early than late at that position," coach Bill Belichick said Friday night.

The Patriots were actually willing to address Tom Brady's future successor even earlier than the second round.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Patriots would have taken Blake Bortles if he had fallen to them at the end of the first round.

Instead the Pats grabbed the Eastern Illinois product on Day 2.

The move signifies an escalating end to backup Ryan Mallett's tenure in New England. There is still interest between the Patriots and Houston Texans in facilitating a Mallett trade, but at this point the expectation is that the quarterback opens OTAs on the Patriots' roster, per Rapoport.

"We know what Ryan's contract situation is," Belichick said. "We know what Tom's age and contract situation is. I don't think you want to have one quarterback on your team. I don't think that's responsible to the entire team or the organization."

Gregg Rosenthal broke down yesterday how Garoppolo could be the first backup with a legitimate shot at eventually replacing Brady, who will be 41 by the time the rookie's contract is up.

Garoppolo might end up like some of Brady's previous backups -- Brian Hoyer, Mallett -- and not play significant snaps during his tenure in New England. However, Belichick would rather be early than late when considering the NFL's most important position.

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