In terms of their biggest needs heading into the offseason, the Patriots checked every box this week except one - a long-term plan at quarterback. Yes, they have Cam Newton as the presumptive starter right now, but even the most optimistic fan has to deal with the reality that he is one a one-year deal. By definition, that leaves him out of the ‘long-term’ discussion at the position, at least for the time being. So what are the Patriots’ options? The most obvious one right now seems to be the draft. By filling so many of the holes on their roster with young players on multi-year deals, Bill Belichick has in a way made his draft picks more expendable. The Patriots won’t realistically have room to roster players with all 10 selections they have in this upcoming draft, and project to be relatively set heading into 2022 as well. In that sense, everything is set up perfectly for the team to consolidate draft picks, and move up into the top 10 to get a quarterback they can build around long-term. If they don’t take a QB in the draft, that thins out the options. We know they were interested in Jimmy Garoppolo before free agency, but he’s probably closer to the ‘bridge’ category than ‘long-term option.’ Of course, there’s the wild home run QB trade rumors, but those won’t happen until much later, if at all.