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Potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

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What's next for Andre Johnson?

We learned last week that the greatest offensive player in Texans history has been granted permission to seek a trade. With no trade able to be worked out, Johnson officially was released on Monday.

We've written these types of pieces before only to watch Johnson stay put and render our work meaningless. But not this time. This is not a test. Andre Johnson is going somewhere ... but where?

Here are some logical contenders for Johnson's services:

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks remain at the very top of the NFL power structure, but their wide receiver group -- despite Doug Baldwin's loud protestations -- is just average. The Seahawks are in particular need of a big-bodied receiver who can fight through the type of routes that Malcolm Butler blew up at the Super Bowl. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Johnson would certainly present a nice target for Russell Wilson, while giving Johnson his best shot at a Super Bowl yet.

New England Patriots

Another great landing spot if Johnson is determined to play February football. Tom Brady already has a game-breaking talent in Rob Gronkowski and a tremendously efficient sticks-mover in Julian Edelman. Pair Johnson with Brandon LaFell on the outside and the Pats are cooking. New England would have to get creative with the cap to make this work.

Indianapolis Colts

There are few better passers to hitch your wagon to late in your career than Andrew Luck. The Colts could use a complement to T.Y. Hilton after Hakeem Nicks failed to make an impact last season and Reggie Wayne was tackled by Father Time. The question is whether acquiring Johnson is worth the risk of slowing the development of promising second-year receiver Donte Moncrief.

San Diego Chargers

Keenan Allen took a step back last season, and could benefit from an outside receiver who can open up the middle of the field. As is the case with three options above, playing in San Diego would also give Johnson the best quarterback he's ever had. 

Denver Broncos

With Peyton Manning set to return, the Broncos will remain an attractive destination for offensive skill players. Add to that the presence of Gary Kubiak, the former Texans coach now running the show in Denver. Just about every special moment in Johnson's career came in Kubiak's offense. Even better, Johnson would have no pressure to be the No. 1 guy with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders already in place. Johnson won't catch 100 passes here, but it offers just about everything else.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have work to do to get back to Super Bowl contender status, but Johnson could find success here in an offense anchored by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. The departure of Harry Douglas opens a role and Johnson wouldn't have to work against the opposition's top corner on a weekly basis. We're not sold this is where Johnson scores that elusive ring, but it's a nice spot to enjoy a late-career production surge, ala Tony Gonzalez.

Kansas City Chiefs

Nobody needs wide receiver talent more than the Chiefs, who didn't get a single touchdown from their group in 2014. Johnson has never been a gifted red zone threat (Fun fact: Johnson has never had a 10-touchdown season) but he'd certainly make Alex Smith's job easier. And if the Chiefs decide to cut Dwayne Bowe, Johnson would represent a far more cost-effective No. 1 option.

Other possibilities:

Carolina Panthers: GM Dave Gettleman is still trying to rebuild his wide receiver group after last year's purge. Johnson lining up across from Kelvin Benjamin isn't a bad thought.

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens found success by bringing Steve Smith into the fold last year. If Torrey Smith walks in free agency -- a distinct possibility -- Johnson represents a nice fallback option.

Miami Dolphins: GM Dennis Hickey has already dumped wide receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, while Mike Wallace's future remains very much up in the air. Somebody has to catch passes from Ryan Tannehill, why not the guy who grew up in Miami and attended The U? Never underestimate the Full-Circle Move.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast analyzes early free agency news, including Ndamukong Suh to Miami, Devin McCourty's new deal and much more. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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