Safety is Cincinnati's biggest need. Along with conversations with South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger and Florida safety Matt Elam, who spoke about Cincinnati's current safety Reggie Nelson, the Bengals are actively learning about safety prospects to inject talent into a position that dramatically needs an upgrade. Even USC Safety T.J. McDonald has spoken several times with Cincinnati Bengals secondary coach Mark Carrier, dating back to the senior bowl.
The Bengals are looking for help at safety and it's expected that they'll look toward the NFL draft for it. However there are some that keep pining for the promotion of Taylor Mays, again. Just stop.
Along with Cincinnati acquiring Taylor Mays from San Francisco for a seventh-round pick (teams don't allow quality and productive players to leave for a seventh round pick) for this year's 2013 NFL draft, Mike Zimmer and the Cincinnati Bengals defense never felt that could rely on Mays, evident by the lack of participation throughout the season.
After his demotion from the starting lineup following kickoff weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, Mays only participated during a quarter of the defensive snaps last season and during six of those games, he didn't touch the field once on defense.
Against the four passes that quarterbacks attempted to players that Mays covered in 2012, three were completed for 49 yards receiving with a touchdown -- though 34 of those yards were on one play against Baltimore during the season opener. During the same game he was also flagged for unnecessary roughness, which led to a fine by the NFL.
Despite that Mays wanted to be enforcer on defense.
"I want to be an intimidating presence," Mays said. "I’m a big safety, so I feel like I should. Most of my favorite players are big, intimidating safeties. That’s just the style of defense I like to play."
At the end of the day the NFC Champions begged teams to take Mays off their hands and even the Bengals weren't comfortable enough to play Mays regularly. If you feel like carrying the Taylor Mays banner, go for it. There's always the chance he finally develops into a productive player, forcing analysts at the Combine to stop using Mays as a prime example on how workouts can be misleading when translating onto the football field.
It's honorable to take such an uphill battle into the arena. In the meantime Cincinnati will look for a safety to compliment Reggie Nelson and use Mays primarily as a special teams player.