Max Kellerman believes Tom Brady will leave the Patriots in free agency this offseason.

Which begs the question: Who should be New England’s starting quarterback in 2020?

Kellerman, who on multiple occasions floated the idea of New England landing Philip Rivers in a hypothetical QB experiment, finally backed off that possibility Tuesday and now is focused on a new potential target for the Patriots: Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions.

“They should go get Matthew Stafford. Stafford was great this year until he got hurt. He was great. He wasn’t OK. He was MVP caliber,” Kellerman explained on ESPN’s “First Take.” “He has always been a top-five talent, and he’s never quite gotten those results. Give him to Bill Belichick, and let’s see what happens.”

Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, has been solid throughout his 11-year NFL career, but it still hasn’t resulted in much success for Detroit. The Lions have yet to win a playoff game with Stafford at the helm, and it’s fair to wonder whether they’ll soon consider moving on if a viable alternative emerges.

The Patriots, meanwhile, could do worse than replace Brady with Stafford should the former take his talents elsewhere on the open market in the coming months. Otherwise, New England might be forced to roll with second-year QB Jarrett Stidham, a 2019 fourth-round pick who’s a total unknown quantity given his lack of NFL experience.

“Stafford with Belichick, I would love to see that,” Kellerman said. “Meantime, the New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions have done deals before. And because the cupboard is bare once Tom Brady leaves, survey the landscape, who’s going to be available? Cam Newton? Matthew Stafford? Start thinking about the guys. … An elite talent with Bill Belichick as coach? Whoa.”

Thumbnail photo via Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports Images