NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels before the start of New England’s game against the Dallas Cowboys in November.

If Tom Brady decides to stay in New England, he’ll have a familiar face as his offensive coordinator.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns have passed on Josh McDaniels and are expected to name Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach on Monday. The move comes as a surprise because McDaniels was reportedly their first choice from the jump.

After flaming out following a season and a half with the Broncos, McDaniels has been understandably picky about his second head coaching gig, but leaving the Colts at the altar last offseason may have given some suitors wet feet.

McDaniels brought his wife along for the interview on Friday morning and Rapoport reported the Browns gig is one he has long coveted.

“This is a job, from what I understand, that McDaniels really wants,” Rapoport said. “That he’s dreamed about since he was a kid.”

The non-hire means special teams coordinator Joe Judge is likely the lone lieutenant Bill Belichick will lose this offseason. The Giants hired the Patriots’ former special teams coordinator to run the show in New York.

McDaniels and Brady have a close bond, and the offensive coordinator often speaks glowingly of the quarterback. McDaniels’ return certainly seems to improve the chances of a Brady return, too.

But a lot of that falls on Belichick, and the decision-maker has remained as tight-lipped on the quarterback’s pending free agency as you’d expect.

“Everybody’s situation on the team is different,” Belichick said. “There are no two that are exactly the same. But the future is the future for all of them just like it is for Tom and anybody else you want to bring up.

“Certainly Tom is an iconic figure in this organization, and nobody respects Tom more than I do,” Belichick said. “But I respect all the other players and all the other coaches in this organization, too.”