It seems as if the Vikings are in the running for 27-year-old safety Taylor Mays.
According to the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson, the Vikings, Bengals, and Redskins are all vying to bring Mays in. The safety has played for Cincinnati since 2011, and Tomasson said the Bengals are “desperately” wanting Mays to stay on the roster.
John Day is a Bengals fan who would like to see Mays stay in Cincinnati at the right price. He feels there are some challenges to Mays, but he also offers a lot of upside to a team:
“[Mays is] more of a straight line type of guy. Hes a good athlete […] Perfect depth guy who could fill a couple spots in a pinch.”
Mays is yet another free agent whose interest in the Vikings relates directly to his past experience with head coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer served as Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator during Mays’ first three seasons, so he is widely familiar with Zimmer’s coaching style and system.
Mays did not start any games last season, and he has notched only 10 starts over his 66-game NFL career. However, he’s a hard hitter who adds depth and flexibility to a roster. Tomasson shared insight from CBS and NFL Network Solomon Wilcots, who played for both the Bengals and the Vikings. Wilcots, who has followed Mays’ career, said the following:
“Mays is more of an in-the-box safety who can hit. He would help the defense. I still think he’s got better years ahead of him, and I think Zim knows how to use him.’’
Mays could be a key add-on for the Vikings, who have been looking to add an additional player at the safety position. Other safeties currently on the roster include starter Harrison Smith, Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo (both entering contract years), Antone Exum, who primarily played on special teams in 2014, and Ahmad Dixon, who was called up from the practice squad in December.
Blanton and Sendejo both work well on special teams, but neither seems to be a set-in-stone starter heading into 2015, so adding Mays to the mix would make things interesting. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Mays will meet with the Vikings Wednesday night:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2015