According to Josina Anderson at ESPN, Taylor Mays has agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings. The team has not announced the deal yet, but Matt Vensel at the Star Tribune confirms the agreement.
Source: S Taylor Mays has agreed to a 1-year deal with the #Vikings.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 24, 2015
Taylor Mays never made our list of the top 55 free agents for the Vikings to pursue, but is a natural fit for the Vikings given his previous history with Mike Zimmer and his defense. If nothing else, Mays could be a standout special-teamer and has the kind of body and athleticism Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman love to have on the ST unit, to go along with athletic undersized linebackers like Larry Dean and Brandon Watts.
Mays is best known for his outstanding measureables and can translate his speed and strength onto the field, but has never been a very good player for the Cincinnati Bengals, his previous team.
Though demoted more than once at the safety position on a team that often struggled with addressing the need, Mays is still young (he will be 27 throughout the season) and could grow into a much better player so long as he learns how to use his tools.
His on-field play improved significantly in a different role as a subpackage nickel linebacker, which may be how the Vikings are planning on using him, alongside other linebacker/safety types like Brian Peters, Dom DeCicco and possibly Justin Anderson, Antone Exum or Brandon Watts.
A one-year deal provides a low risk for the Vikings as they continue to figure out what to do at the other safety spot. Even if he can’t be a starter, he provides reasonable depth if he makes the roster and has tantalizing upside. Don’t expect him to definitively solve any problems (players on one-year deals are never considered long-term fixes), but something may click for him, either at a new position or because he’s figured out how to play safety.