Thursday afternoon, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that the San Francisco 49ers have sent out e-mails to teams across the league to try and trade safety Taylor Mays. Mays is in his second year in the NFL after being drafted by the 49ers with the 40th overall pick of last year’s draft.
Now that the Cowboys finalized a deal with Abe Elam, and a day after re-signing Gerald Sensabaugh, the Cowboys seem pretty set at the safety position. But trading for Mays would give them a young player to add depth to the secondary.
Mays played mainly specials teams last season, but did start six games after coach Mike Singletary benched then-starter Michael Lewis. Mays recorded 38 tackles, two pass defenses and scored one touchdown by catching a blocked punt.
His contract isn’t too intimidating for the Cowboys. He’s due just over $400,000 this season, $490,000 in 2012 and $575,000 in 2013 which is the last year of his contract.
Where Mays struggles is in pass coverage. He plays physical, at 6'3" and 230 pounds, he is a force in the backfield. Many Cowboy fans will cringe at the thought of another big safety since Roy Williams still leaves a bitter taste in the fans’ mouths.
As long as the asking price isn’t too much, this could be a good experiment for the Cowboys. They wouldn’t expect Mays to start right away, and could help on special teams with his consistent tackling.
Best case scenario, the Cowboys can groom Mays into a balanced safety that can start in a year or two. Worst case scenario; they have a backup in case Ball or Sensabaugh go down with injuries.
One thing is for sure, Mays has fallen quickly from being touted as a first-round draft pick to the 49ers' trade bait.