Bedard: With time not on their side with QBs, Patriots may need to think outside the box

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

Everyone knows the Patriots need a legitimate starting quarterback this offseason. And while many fall for the tired — and factually incorrect — cliche that a team needs X at quarterback in order to sign Y or Z at receiver and tight end (go through the top WR free agents over the years and see which teams they signed with — it almost always had to do with a QB by the name of Straight C. Homie), the Patriots don't need to necessarily rush into anything.

And that's good, because they're not on their own timetable. Unless the Patriots are ready to go all-in with a Marcus Mariota (trade), Alex Smith or Cam Newton (free agents) — none, it appears, all that appealing — New England is waiting for many other shoes to drop before they can make a strong entry into the QB market. And most of them have to do with the draft ... at the end of April, a full month after all the top free agents will be signed, sealed and delivered elsewhere.

So what are the Patriots going to do in the interim? They might just have to go with Plan B or C, and hope Plan A emerges later.

What would that look like?