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Jimmy Garoppolo deflects Tom Brady successor talk

By the time Jimmy Garoppolo's rookie contract concludes, Tom Brady will be 41 years old.

As a result, the New England Patriots' second-round draft pick has already been tabbed by many as more than depth-chart filler. However, Garoppolo refused to entertain any talk on Tuesday about being groomed as Tom Terrific's successor in Foxborough, avoiding such "verbal landmines."

"I haven't thought about it too much, to be honest," Garoppolo told CSN New England. "My main thing is, I'm a rookie. I haven't earned any stripes. I haven't done anything on the field."

Garoppolo's arrival could also affect Ryan Mallett's status with the team. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that "mutual interest" still remained for the Houston Texans to trade for Mallett as the Patriots approach May 27, New England's first day for organized team activities.

Garoppolo addressed the situation not only by praising Brady but also by adding that he plans to view Mallett as a mentor as well.

"Just the way Tom has poise in the pocket, the way he throws the ball, it's pretty picture perfect, if you ask me," the Eastern Illinois product told WEEI-FM. "Just to learn as much as I can from him and Ryan from a short period of time."

For kicks, Garoppolo was asked a second time by CSN New England about his thoughts on potentially replacing a legend.

"I haven't put too much thought into it to be honest," he answered.

He might as well have said "it is what it is" to end the interview. Considering the way he skillfully side-stepped the bait with that nonanswer, he'll fit in the locker room at Gillette Stadium just fine.

*The "Around The League Podcast" wrapped up the draft by picking our winners and losers. *

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