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New England Patriots lead Percy Harvin landing spots

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Thrown overboard in the wake of the Jets' Brandon Marshall trade, Percy Harvin is now the most talented wide receiver on the open market.

Positional breakdowns

As a running back/wide receiver hybrid, Harvin is perhaps the NFL's most unique playmaker.

The 26-year-old isn't without his faults, however. He hasn't developed as an NFL route runner and has missed extensive time due to hip surgery, ankle surgery and migraine issues. More alarming, he has already worn out his welcome in Minnesota and Seattle.

Let's take a look at Harvin's most likely landing spots:

1. New England Patriots: Bill Belichick has "always liked" Harvin, going back to the 2009 cat-and-mouse game with Minnesota that eventually led to former Vikings coach Brad Childress gloating about snatching the Florida playmaker from the Patriots' grasp. Six years later, Belichick's fascination with Harvin is well documented. Harvin's skill set is ideally suited to the short passing game that Tom Brady has mastered, as evidenced by the fourth-quarter dissection of the NFL's best defense in Super Bowl XLIX.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport confirmed Tuesday on NFL Network that the Patriots have been "quietly interested" in Harvin for several days, and there is a "good chance" the playmaking wide receiver will end up in New England. The Patriots have also inquired about C.J. Spiller as Shane Vereen's replacement, Rapoport adds.

2. Buffalo Bills: Although Harvin has interest from several teams, according to Rapoport, the Bills will be his first visit. Harvin had a great relationship with Rex Ryan and wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal with the Jets last season, per the New York Daily News. Our concern is that Harvin might be too similar in skill set to Sammy Watkins, another dangerous ball carrier limited to bubble screens, crossers and the occasional go route.

3. Oakland Raiders: The most impressive game film of Harvin's career is from the first two months of the 2012 season, after Bill Musgrave had replaced Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator. Musgrave knew exactly how to maximize Harvin's unique talent, lining him up more often in the backfield and taking advantage of his running skills with multitudinous bubble screens and crossing routes. Musgrave is now overseeing Jack Del Rio's offense in Oakland. After the Raiders struck out on Randall Cobb, Harvin makes a lot of sense as a fallback option.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: After the Eagles failed to re-sign Jeremy Maclin, they're in need of a high-octane wide receiver. Harvin's skill set meshes with Chip Kelly's system, which emphasizes run-after-catch ability. One potential roadblock: Kelly firmly believes that culture is paramount in football. That bodes poorly for a player with Harvin's tarnished image.

5. Miami Dolphins: Branching off from the Kelly tree, Bill Lazor introduced a Miami offense that borrowed from the Eagles as well as Kyle Shanahan's 2012 pistol-heavy scheme. If the Dolphins ditch Mike Wallace, replacing him with Harvin would allow Lazor to get more creative.

Other teams in need of a wide receiver: Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers

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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