Sources say that shock jock Howard Stern may be the first in line to replace Simon Cowell when the Brit bad boy leaves American Idol at the end of this season.

This is either the best idea or the worst idea ever.

An Idol insider tells Page Six that Stern, Sirius XM Radio deal expires next January, is their first choice to fill the role.

"They know he would be great TV and would clash with the other judges such as Ellen DeGeneres and the contestants," says the source. "Idol will do what it takes to sign him."

But the insider also notes that Stern may not be ready to leave radio -- not to mention New York -- to travel around the country for auditions and spend several months out of the year in Los Angeles. Plus, Idol bosses may not be able to compete with a Sirius XM offer, should it come in. (Simon makes $50 mil a year, while Howard takes in double that.)

"I was approached by a major TV network to take over a TV show and leave here and do that next year -- and I did turn it down," said Stern on a recent radio show. "I'm not even sure if I want to be working. I'm waiting to see what happens."

Do YOU think Howard would make a good replacement?