I’m not even sure, exactly why I am talking about Taylor Mays. I guess mostly for a couple of reasons. Last year before the Browns drafted Joe Haden and T.J. Ward, Taylor Mays was one of the many draft options in the forefront of many Browns fans’ minds. There were questions about his maturity, attitude and his size being a bit too big to play NFL safety in coverage. Those questions ended up causing him to drop into the second round where Mike Singletary and the 49ers snatched him up with the 49th overall pick. Fast forward and Mike Singletary is out and ESPN reported that the 49ers sent an email blast letting everyone know that Mays was available.
Again, why am I even talking about this? The Browns don’t have a spot for Taylor Mays with T.J. Ward at the strong safety and Usama Young and Mike Adams at the free safety. Plus, free safety seems like a pretty bad fit for Mays as the question marks around him are related to his ball skills and inability to play in space. Even still, I can’t help but wonder if this is the kind of project that the new Browns’ regime would be interested in entertaining. Why? Check it out.
Tom Heckert has acquired almost all young players recently. Brandon Jackson is 25, Usama Young is 26, and Jayme Mitchell is 27, but was 26 when he was acquired a year ago. The Browns haven’t parted with draft picks for older veterans on the move like 30 year-old Lee Evans. Maybe I am just trying to figure out Tom Heckert here.
A 23 year-old kid with decidedly good athleticism and football pedigree, who happens to be a bit of a tweener is available. He signed a 4-year $3.91 million contract including a $2.075 million signing bonus. Assuming the Niners have already paid that bad boy out, the Browns could try and develop this kid over the next three years for under $1.5 total. Add on the fact that the Niners will almost undoubtedly be forced to give this kid away considering just how available they made him with an email blast, and it just makes me sit back and wonder if this isn’t something right up Heckert and Holmgren’s alley.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not in love with Taylor Mays, by any means. I am always wary of players with suspected attitude problems. We’ve seen more than our fair share of bad apples make their way through Cleveland in the past ten years. Still, maybe this is finally the adversity that Mays needs to buck up and embrace trying to be a linebacker. At 6’3″ and 230 pounds he is already bigger than Kaluka Maiava.
More interestingly is whether or not this is the kind of thing that interests this Browns regime. It seems to me that it just might.