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Why did the Percy Harvin 49ers rumors happen?

The San Francisco 49ers were briefly embroiled in rumors surrounding wide receiver Percy Harvin. Why did that happen?

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers rumored interest in Percy Harvin died down about as quickly as it started, with Cam Inman reporting Harvin is in fact going to sign with the Buffalo Bills. Washington, D.C. reporter Dianna Russini suggested the 49ers would get in the mix, and later said Harvin would probably go to the Bills, but the 49ers were making a push.

Why exactly did the rumor get started? I highly doubt Russini just made up this interest out of thin air. I mean, that is certainly one possibility, but it seems highly unlikely. Russini has hit on a few stories the last six to nine months, and emerged on the national NFL media front.

There are a few possibilities that could explain this random late Friday news:

1. The 49ers were legitimately interested, and wanted to get an idea of what it might cost.

2. Harvin's agent made it up on his own to try and get a few more bucks from the Bills

3. The 49ers agreed to get the rumor out there to try and get Harvin a few more bucks from the Bills. The reason for that would be a little quid pro quo. A Twitter follower offered this theory:

Bush visited the 49ers on Wednesday, and is reportedly visiting the New England Patriots today. This would not be the first time there has been some quid pro quo between a team and an agent. There is no proof this is actually the case, but it is an interesting theory given the 49ers interest in Bush.

I suppose the other possibility is they do want another veteran to replace Stevie Johnson. Russini is reporting the Patriots are targeting Johnson, and I have heard that he will not be returning to the 49ers. There was talk he might come back at the right price, but it is possible he has already found that price on the open market.