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2011 San Francisco 49ers: The Taylor Mays Situation

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2011 San Francisco 49ers: The Taylor Mays Situation
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Two Tampa Bay Bucs pray that Mays will be their teammate one day.

As I am sure most of you are aware by now, recently it was stated by the 49ers front office that Taylor Mays was on the trading block.

The team sent out a league-wide email, almost in 'fire sale' fashion, to let everyone know that Mays was not welcomed in San Francisco anymore. Not exactly the wisest of marketing strategies, but you know... that's the way the cookie crumbles.

In any case, how much truth is there to the want or need to get rid of Mays? After all, he is only in his second season. How badly could he have possibly done in the eight days of practice so far? Was there something in the tape that coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio watched that left them saying, "Oh boy, gotta deal him ASAP?"

Although, Harbaugh was quoted as saying, "Taylor is a 49er," which incidentally has become his newest catch phrase, it is very unclear as to what he and Fangio's true thoughts are on the situation.

All of these questions should be answered soon, but in the meantime, we all will have to remain patient with the situation.

But for arguments sake, let's assume for one moment that no team in the NFL decides to go near Mays.Do you just kick a second-round draft pick to the curb after one season?

Most of the teams that supposedly have had interest in Mays probably have read the headlines that he is taking some reps with the 3rd team and that if the 49ers are not interested, Mays would thereby have to be cut to make space for the 500 other safeties that the team has on their current roster—which would leave him available to other teams at no cost, relatively speaking.

Should the Niners cut bait with Mays?

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A team like the Vikings, who now possess the 49ers' ex-head coach Mike Singletary (linebackers coach) and clamored hard to get Mays, could very well have some level of interest, considering their current status on not being very deep at safety. But the Vikings may be one of few who have truly expressed interest.

Some people have tossed around the idea that Mays should gain 10-15 pounds throughout the course of the season, and while sitting in the deepest darkest corner of the depth chart, have Fangio develop him into a stud pass rusher at the outside linebacker position. But how realistic is that? Mays has played defensive back for a long time now.

These kind of conversions can happen, but are very rare. Typically, you only see the most freakishly of the athletic freaks make such conversions. And half the time, those don't even work out well (See: Devin Hester).

There has to be some value to Mays and someone, some team will eventually have interest. He is still pretty much a rookie.

Despite all this, Mays has kept a very positive attitude and not being in demand of being put anywhere because of his draft status, he has adopted the term "patience" and is running with it. He will most likely be getting reps against lower level competition in the preseason, so it may be a good way for the 49ers to get some value back out of him if they are indeed serious about dealing the second-year safety. 

But ultimately, it may just be in everyone's best interest if Mays found a new home.

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