Brandon Marshall's surreal journey across the NFL cosmos must end in the only place that can guarantee what he deserves: He should be a New England Patriot in 2017.

Marshall's 166-game resume has one glaring omission: He's never made the playoffs.

The veteran wide receiver has the longest postseason drought of any active player, a stunning reality for one of this era's biggest game-changers. Marshall is second in receiving yards and receptions and third in touchdown catches since entering the league in 2006. He is a matchup nightmare, a difference maker and a rare talent that hasn't made it past 16 games in a calendar year.

Marshall, who will turn 33 this offseason, is scheduled to make $7.5 million in the final year of his contract in 2017. The re-building Jets, looking to cultivate a collection of young pass catchers, could save all of that money by releasing Marshall after the season.

If that happens, he should join forces with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

"That's intriguing, but that wouldn't be my team," Marshall told the Daily News in a candid discussion about his future. "I would be a rental player."

Not all rental players are created equal. Besides, it's not personal, it's business. No outfit exemplifies the NFL's bottom-line nature better than the Patriots. Ask Darrelle Revis, whose mutually beneficial relationship with the Foxborough folks made everyone happy. Now, Revis is a champion. Forever.

Marshall deserves to be a champion, too. At the very least, he deserves to participate in the postseason. The Patriots, who have made the playoffs in 14 of the last 16 seasons, can all but guarantee that for Marshall. That dream simply won't happen with the Jets.