Rumor Mill: If Percy Harvin is traded from Minnesota, where’s he headed?

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin (12) returns a kickoff for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals to start the game but the play was called back on a penalty by the Vikings at the Metrodome. The Vikings win 21-14. (Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports)

Generally speaking, the weeks following the Super Bowl tend to be the slowest time of the year for NFL and college football fans. There is National Signing Day, of course, but not everyone is into watching a group of teenagers putting on hats on a random Wednesday. The NFL Draft is still months away at the end of April, and there is not going to be any real football played for another half a year (wow, that really sounds rough when put into those terms, apologies).

However, this year has received a boost amid trade speculations surrounding the mercurial Percy Harvin. The all-everything star of Urban Meyer’s national championship-winning teams at Florida and multi-faceted weapon for the Minnesota Vikings became one of the offseason’s two biggest trade targets when the Vikes’ brass announced his availability on the open market.

Harvin has scored at least one touchdown as a receiver, running back and kick returner in each of the last three seasons. Despite missing the final seven games of the season due to injury, he still led the league in tackles evaded by a non-running back with 22. He was targeted on 81 passes in 2012, and only dropped one catchable ball. His 1.59-percent drop rate, when compare to Patriots star Wes Welkers’ 11.28 is astounding.

Thus, there is a line of teams positioning themselves for the services of the uber-talented but extremely volatile player.

But where is he going?

When reports first surfaced that Harvin was not going to be in Minnesota next season, the first place people looked was in New England. The aforementioned Welker is older and not quite as fast and is set to make a boatload as a free agent. The Patriots may opt to simply let Welker walk, bringing in the cheaper, younger and more versatile Harvin instead.

New England coach Bill Belichik has apparently loved Harvin since his college days. Veteran quarterback Tom Brady, as a future Hall of Famer, is seen as the type of leader who can temper Harvin’s, well, temper.

Further, the Patriots brought in another disgruntled Vikings receiver back in 2005, the one and only Randy Moss, and that actually worked out quite well for them. Why not try for a second success?

Should Harvin not find himself in snowy Foxboro, he may wind up enjoying the sunny skies (well, relatively sunny skies) of the San Francisco Bay. The 49ers have a player in Ted Ginn Jr. who possesses a lot of what Harvin brings to the table. However, Ginn has not shown the propensity to consistently make plays as a wide receiver, and his own father would like to see him out of the Niners organization.

The team has 12 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, as well as whatever else comes to them in a move involving the offseason’s other big trade target, quarterback Alex Smith.

[Read: The $8.5 million question: Will Alex Smith be traded or released?]

Thus, San Francisco should easily have the ammunition to get a deal done for Harvin, as well as the open roster spot to make such a trade fit.

Finally, coach Jim Harbaugh has shown an unparalleled ability to maximize the potential of his players and keep everyone behaved and level-headed. He is going to need that with Harvin and his pouty demeanor headed to town.

Another team that is looking to replace a major offensive piece to their puzzle is the Atlanta Falcons. Tight end Tony Gonzalez practically deserves his own wing in the Hall of Fame. If he hangs ’em up like he said he would, the organization would have the money to bring Harvin aboard and the dire necessity for an underneath receiver with sure hands.

Plus, just think of the potential of an offense with Julio Jones, Roddy White and Harvin all scurrying about the field and hauling in Matt Ryan passes. Are you drooling yet, Falcons fans?

Because you should be.

Finally, there Jacksonville and Miami. Both have major needs across the board before even considering something such as the playoffs. This may be a major turn-off for Harvin, who obviously grew frustrated with the lack of wins up North over the last few seasons (and it should be noted that the Vikings went on a long win streak and made the playoffs in 2012 after he got hurt, but we digress).

However, both have young quarterbacks, in Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Tannehill, respectively, who could use a boost in their receiving corps. That holds especially true for Miami, who inexplicably traded Brandon Marshall to Chicago for two third-round picks only days before selecting Tannehill eighth-overall.

Wherever Harvin winds up, that team will be bringing in one of the top all-around playmakers this league has seen in some time — that is the talent this young man possesses.

Unfortunately, he has proven that his ego is equally as great as his football prowess. Thus, any franchise that brings him in is going to have to have a plan in place in order to keep him happy and to help him succeed on the football field.

But shouldn’t every team have a plan to succeed on the football field anyways?

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