Now Garoppolo is in the final year of his contract with New England.

“Obviously, I want to play,” Garoppolo said in June, via Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today. “That’s just the competitor in me. I think everyone out here wants to play. And we come out here and compete every day for that opportunity. If you go out and earn it, it’s yours.”

“I feel like I’m relatively young to the profession, granted I have been with this team for a long time,” Payton said in a telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon from the Saints training camp in Metairie, La., at the team’s headquarters outside of New Orleans. “In the last few months, we saw another college football champion (Clemson) crowned, the Golden State Warriors win another NBA championship, and just recently a fantastic British Open where Jordan Spieth won it with that great finish. It reminded me of our Super Bowl champion team and that once you get to that spot, you are obsessed with returning.

“It’s all you think about. It is somewhat consuming, but in a good way. Mr. (Tom) Benson, our owner, just turned 90. We’ve got to bring him a second one.”

Training camp is a huge marker in each NFL team’s championship quest; a period of hot days and taxing work that help form their enduring mettle.

The Saints for the last three years held camp in West Virginia, but they returned home this year. Payton says it is time to mix it up, recalibrate this bunch, retool, rethink, sculpt and mold.patriots_125-180x180

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