NFL FREE AGENCY

Bedard: As cap space dwindles after spree, a look what could be coming for the Patriots, specifically at QB

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Chargers free agent end Melvin Ingram and Belchick (Getty)

The Patriots love versatility.

And not just with their players.

When the Patriots set out to add to their roster, from various (draft day, trade deadline, offseason) trades, free-agent signings — even shopping sprees like the last two days — and their next quarterback, the team prides itself in having multiple options. It keeps them from being leveraged by any player, agent or any team.

In an offseason like this one, when some agents were preparing their free agents to be underwhelmed by the amount and volume of offers, the Patriots knew they were in a buyer's market for the most part. Lots of houses for sale, but not many other deep-pocketed owners wandering around to snatch them up. Even among the other high rollers, it was the Patriots against teams like the Jets, Jaguars and Washington — not exactly qualified buyers when it comes to winning games in the NFL.

The Colts certainly had some impressive paperwork, but their buyer (GM Chris Ballard) is fairly picky and on the lookout for a great deal. He might look at 15 houses, go back multiple times for his favorite, but take forever to actually put in a bid, and then it's usually below ask and that takes more time...

Enter Bill Belichick.