Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Taylor Mays
Posted on: September 2, 2011 11:28 am
 

Bengals ink CB Leon Hall to $39 million extension

Posted by Ryan Wilson

When the Bengals opted not to re-sign 2006 first-round pick cornerback Johnathan Joseph, and the Texans eventually gave him $48.75 million over five years to bolster their secondary, it was clear that the team would make a concerted effort to keep cornerback Leon Hall.

(Even if the Bengals wanted him back, it's not clear Joseph would've returned. In July, ESPN's John Clayton said Joseph "would leave Cincinnati for a dollar more than the Bengals are offering.")

That's exactly what happened Friday. 

Earlier in the week, the team traded for cornerback Kelly Jennings, a former Seahawks first-rounder, and now the Bengals have extended Hall, one of the best players on the team. It's a four-year, $39-million contract extension that will keep him in Cincy through 2015, according to ESPN.

CBSSports.com's Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner adds that the deal includes $14.1 million guarantees (his 2011 salary increases to $5.1 million from $3 million, and he gets a $9 million roster bonus), and that extending Hall was on the radar before Joseph left for Houston. ESPN adds that he's expected to receive another $5 million roster bonus March 1.  

Dehner writes that "Hall, 26, has more interceptions (18) than any player his age or younger except the Jets' Antonio Cromartie, also 26 with 18 interceptions. In fact, only 10 active players younger than 30 have more picks than the Bengals corner." He's now tasked with leading a defense that must keep the Bengals in games while the offense finds its way with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton under center. 

In addition to the Jennings trade and the Hall extension, the Bengals last week traded for safety Taylor Mays, who had fallen out of favor in San Francisco after just one season. On Wednesday, the team also extended left tackle Andrew Whitworth.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 31, 2011 9:25 pm
 

What do the Bengals hope to get from Taylor Mays?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Taylor Mays, the safety from USC taken by the 49ers in the second round of the 2010 draft, was traded to the Bengals nine days ago. At the time, the terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but various outlets are now reporting that San Francisco got a 2013 seventh-round pick for their troubles. It doesn't take much draft-math calculating to figure out that it's a shoddy return-on-investment for the 49ers, who saw enough in one season to give up on a player with through-the-roof measurables but not much in the way of on-field ability.

So, naturally, Mays ends up in Cincinnati.

The move didn't immediately make sense (at least in terms of Mays filling an obvious void in the secondary); the team had Roy Williams on the roster for the '09 and '10 season and he didn't make much of impact. Mays is similar to Williams in that he's supposed to be a hard-hitting safety, but he comes without the NFL track record or Pro Bowl pedigree.

There's also the issue of the Bengals willingly giving up a draft pick when, earlier this month, the 49ers sent out a mass email to 31 teams asking if there was any interest in Mays. At the time, there were no takers but the implication was that, barely a year after San Francisco had drafted him, Mays would be released before the start of the season.

It never got to that point.

Maybe the Bengals should've waited until Mays was cut to go after him. But if they really wanted him, you could argue that they were smart to give up just a seventh-rounder ... two years from now. It allowed the team to get Mays for literally next to nothing while also guaranteeing he wouldn't hit the open market.

But we still don't know why Cincinnati acquired Mays. He didn't show much as a rookie and the feeling around the league was that he probably never would.

So we asked CBS analyst, Cincinnati resident, and former NFL defensive back Solomon Wilcots what the Bengals might be thinking.

"Clearly, a player like Mays does have some ability … but you've got to have a plan for him because he hasn't proven that he can embrace all the elements of what it means to be a good defensive back in the NFL, whether its coverage, run-stopping, or quarterbacking your secondary," Wilcots told CBSSports.com recently.

"But for (defensive coordinator) Mike Zimmer and the Cincinnati Bengals defense, they've been lacking that big physical presence at the safety position. And traditionally, they have loved to have that kind of David Fulcher-type player. I think that's kind of what they're thinking (with Mays), I think they'd love to have a guy they can use in all their blitz packages.

 
Then-49ers coach Mike Singletary was instrumental in bringing Taylor Mays to San Francisco. Now it will be up to Bengals' defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer (center) and head coach Marvin Lewis (right) to mold Mays into an NFL safety. (Getty Images)  
"Remember," Wilcots continued, "their head coach, Marvin Lewis, was a defensive coordinator … they understand that if they have a safety who can change the line of scrimmage -- whether it's stuffing the run or pressuring the quarterback in the blitz packages -- and have him be an in-the-box defender, (in theory) it makes them a much better defense. And this defense is going to have to carry the team. You have such a young offense, young quarterback, young wide receivers. … I think that's just some of the psychology behind (making the trade). Now whether or not Mays can do all those things remains to be seen."

As for why the Bengals would trade for a player destined to get cut? One reason, according to Wilcots, could be that the team needed to bolster the position and were willing "taking a flier on him."

He continued: "I think the reasons why a lot of other teams passed, they were probably hoping that [the 49ers] would release him and they'd get him (for nothing). But he hasn't proven that he can do those things and these were some of the questions we had on him coming out of USC. Great specimen but not what we'd call an instinctive football player. The bar is so high when it comes to the Adrian Wilsons, the Ed Reeds, the Troy Polamalus -- big play-making safeties -- that's what we were wanting to see from Mays coming out. We saw that in Eric Berry. We saw it from Earl Thomas. We didn't see that with (Mays)."

It's a no-risk proposition for the Bengals, a team in transition and with needs at key positions on the roster, including safety. Worst case: Mays doesn't work out, the two sides go their separate ways, and the all the Bengals lose is a 2013 seventh-rounder. Best case: Mays flourishes in Zimmer's system and he proves his doubters wrong.

Either way, Cincy has much bigger problems heading into 2011, starting with the aforementioned young quarterback and the group of young pass-catchers.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 29, 2011 10:52 pm
 

Why Jennings is an important piece for Bengals

K. Jennings was traded from Seattle to Cincinnati (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After losing Johnathan Joseph to Houston in free agency and with Adam Jones battling injuries and potentially about to miss at least the first six games of the season, the Bengals were in need of some help in their secondary.

That’s why Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson calls it a “no brainer” that Cincinnati would trade defensive tackle Clinton McDonald to the Seahawks for cornerback Kelly Jennings. Automatically, Jennings -- a former first-round draft pick -- becomes Leon Hall’s tandem partner as long as Jones isn’t playing.

As Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner Jr., points out, the deal also might be bad news for Brandon Ghee -- who now finds himself squarely up against the 53-man roster bubble, even though he was a 2010 third-round pick. This is what Zimmer had to say about Ghee, who has not played in any preseason games this year, earlier today: “We've got to play him a lot this week and see where he's at. Athletically, we have seen that. It’s about finishing plays and making plays."

It’s the second trade in eight days the Bengals have made to help Cincinnati improve the secondary: already, the Bengals gave up a seventh-round pick in 2013 for former 49ers safety Taylor Mays.

Obviously, Cincinnati has no problem swapping personnel with other NFL teams. And after the Jennings swap, Zimmer intimated the Bengals might not be done making trades. Somewhere in southern California, Carson Palmer gnashes his teeth.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:05 pm
 

49ers trade Taylor Mays to Bengals

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It was nearly three weeks ago that the 49ers emailed the 31 other NFL teams to see if there was any interest in their 2010 second-round pick, safety Taylor Mays.

For 18 days and two weeks of preseason games, there wasn't. But on Monday, the 49ers finally unloaded Mays on the Bengals for an undisclosed draft pick, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Michael Erler.

Mays played in all 16 games last season, including six starts, and totaled 31 tackles and two passes defended. He was drafted during Mike Singletary's tenure as head coach, but fell out of favor with coaches during the second half of last season. Singletary was fired and replaced by Jim Harbaugh, and Erler writes that defensive coordinator Vic Fangio all but said Mays wasn’t going to make the team.

So it's curious that the Bengals would give up anything to acquire Mays knowing that he would likely be looking for work in a few weeks. And if the argument is that Cincinnati didn't want competition for Mays' services if and when he became a free agent, we'd point out that none of the 31 teams originally expressed interest in Mays earlier this month.

Making the Bengals' decision even harder to understand: CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner Jr. doesn't think Mays will help Cincy's secondary either. "[Mays] won’t be an answer at safety. Mays hardly played the second half of last season and without doubt was going to be cut by the 49ers. Mays has incredible size and speed, but never showed anything resembling football instincts to be effective."

There's a saying that a change of scenery can revitalize a stagnant career. Unfortunately, we have yet to see that happen to a player joining the Bengals. Upside: congratulatory tweets from current Bengals and former USC teammates.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 6:00 pm
 

49ers land Donte Whitner to bolster secondary

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Maybe former Bills safety Donte Whitner saw the news that the 49ers were looking to unload Taylor Mays on, well, anybody with a passing interest in a warm body.

Or perhaps it dawned on Whitner that there isn't much difference between winters in Buffalo and Cincinnati. Because shortly after ESPN, the Cincinnati Enquirer and even Whitner via Twitter announced that he had agreed to terms with the Bengals, the 49ers signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract with $4.5 million in guarantees, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. (Whitner confirmed as much via -- you guessed it -- Twitter.)

Either way, Whitner appears to be headed to the Bay Area while Mays may be on the way out just a year after the 49ers selected him in the second round of the NFL Draft.

In general, if it takes a team a season to figure out that a second-rounder is a bust, either the scouts weren't doing their jobs, or the coaches and/or front office decided to take Mays against the scouts' wishes.

In Mays' case it sounds like the latter. ESPN.com's Mike Sando writes that "Mays would have remained in the team's plans to this point had Mike Singletary remained head coach. Singletary was invested in Mays. The team had Ronnie Lott reach out to Mays right away. Kenny Easley was another great safety the team held up as an example to follow. Priorities and values change when staffs change. This doesn't necessarily mean the 49ers erred when they drafted Mays. It means they erred when they hired Singletary, and Mays is a casualty of the fallout."

However you spin it, San Francisco wasted a 2009 second-round pick. And wherever you lay the blame, that's a big deal for an organization that last had a winning season in 2002.

Now Whitner will join safety Madieu Williams (who played for the Bengals from 2004-2007) and cornerback Carlos Rogers as new faces in the 49ers secondary.

As for the hard-luck Bengals, they're familiar with being left at the free-agent alter, Frazier Crane style. The Enquirer's Joe Reedy writes that Shaun Rogers was traded to Cincy in 2008 … only for the deal to be nixed before he was later traded to the Browns.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Niners email every NFL team to trade Taylor Mays

Posted by Will Brinson

When you try to trade a player in the NFL, you carefully seek out potential general managers who might have interest and inquire discreetly about whether they'd like to chat. (I assume that's what happens anyway.) What you don't do is email every team in the league and let them know someone's on the trading block.

But that's what the 49ers reportedly did on Thursday as, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, they sent out "a mass email this afternoon to teams around the league to try and trade safety Taylor Mays."

Mays, as you'll likely recall, played at USC and seemed like a prime prospect for the Seahawks, since coach Pete Carroll recruited him out of high school. But Carroll passed on him and the Niners picked him up in the second round (49th overall).

That in and of itself should make put long-term ability to succeed in question. But what about this?

The 49ers single-handedly managed to prove to everyone in the NFL that they don't want Mays and simultaneously sink his market value. If it's true, it's a pretty bad move.

After all, this isn't like using the trading block option in your fantasy league. This is the NFL. And real life and stuff.

But what I want to know is -- did they use BCC? Or did they just CC everyone?

Because not only is CC awkward in that each person knows that you sent the email to everyone, but then you also have to deal with Mike Brown hitting "Reply All" for the next month and a half every time he tries to get in touch with you.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 5, 2010 10:14 am
Edited on: October 5, 2010 6:41 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Curse of Wally Pipp

P. Hillis has taken over the Cleveland running game (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We’re a quarter of the way into the season, and some players who were originally slated to be backups suddenly have emerged as starters. Maybe it was through an injury to the former starter. Maybe it was because the starter wasn’t as good as the team thought and the backup was better. Maybe it was because – and Wally Pipp could relate to this – somebody just needed an off-day.

In fairness to the old-time Yankees first baseman, who was replaced one day (permanently, it turned out) in 1925 by a guy named Lou Gehrig because Pipp had a headache, that story might not be true exactly. Instead, he might have been benched because manager Miller Huggins simply wanted to shake up the lineup. Either way, Gehrig played the next 2,130 games, and Pipp ended up in … Cincinnati (and apparently, he was also one of Sports Illustrated’s first writing hires, one of those cool but useless facts).

Anyway, there have been some impact players to emerge this season so far, simply because they, like Gehrig, were given that chance to shine. Some have won a starting position. Some are just holding it until the real starter returns. But they’re all making a (mostly good) impression. It sounds like the perfect Top Ten With a Twist list to me.

10. Lance Moore, WR/PR, Saints: The story of Moore’s career. A Saints starts gets injured. Moore steps in and makes plays. Remember in 2008 when Moore caught a team-high 79 passes for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns after Marques Colston was hurt? Obviously, when Reggie Bush returns from his broken leg, Moore will fade back into the background – maybe. But man, he looked electric against the Falcons (six catches, 149 yards, two touchdowns), and he’s become a big target for New Orleans when it’s in the red zone.

9. Max Hall, QB, Cardinals: Look, we all know Derek Anderson isn’t a very good quarterback. But I didn’t think he would have a chance to lose his job this early. Hall, meanwhile, was a 2010 undrafted free agent (seriously, how poor is Anderson to lose to an undrafted free agent?). Not that Hall was great when he replaced Anderson on Sunday, because he wasn’t, but he might be Arizona’s best option at this point. Coach Ken Whisenhunt, meanwhile, isn’t talking. “I think we're going to go without [a quarterback) this week,” he joked Monday. “I think we're going to go with all Wildcat."

8. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots: He averaged about eight carries per game his rookie year in 2008, but with Kevin Faulk lost for the season – and Fred Taylor unavailable for the Miami game Monday – Green-Ellis (47 carries this year for 215 yards) has already nearly doubled his attempts from last year. He had his breakout in Week 3 against Buffalo when he carried the ball 16 times for 98 yards and a score, and vs. the Dolphins, he was impressive with a 16-carry, 78-yard, one-touchdown performance.

7. Shaun Hill, QB, Lions:
The reason Hill is so low on this list is because there’s no way he’ll take the job from Matthew Stafford. But still, how impressive has Hill looked the past few weeks? After Stafford went out with the shoulder injury in Week 1, Hill was terrible. But the past three weeks, he’s completed 61.9 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and six interceptions (he’s also averaging 301 passing yards per game), and he really impressed me in Detroit’s two-point loss to Green Bay.

6. Bruce Gradkowski, QB, Raiders: It didn’t take long for Raiders coach Tom Cable to figure out that, in order to save his job, he’d take his chances with Gradkowski instead of Jason Campbell. This is not to say Gradkowski is an elite quarterback, because that’s a laughable notion. But he played well at times when he was in Tampa Bay after Chris Simms ruptured his spleen in 2006 (Gradkowski failed to win the starting job in 2007). For now, though, Gradkowski is entrenched as Cable’s guy. As long as Cable is around.

5. Koa Misi, LB, Dolphins: Ikaika Alama-Francis was supposed to be the starter, but the night before the season opener, he caught some kind of illness and he’s been recovering ever since, losing 15-20 pounds in the process. Misi, the team’s second round Draft pick this year, has taken over his starting spot with consistent play and a smooth transition to the pro game. It was originally thought that Misi’s main objective would be as a situational pass-rusher – he was, after all, a defensive end in college – but he’s proven his worth as an every-down back with two sacks and a fumble recovery TD. In the meantime, he’s also Wally Pipp’d Alama-Francis.

4. Taylor Mays, S, 49ers: Mays so Wally Pipp’d former starter Michael Lewis that San Francisco released Lewis Monday, the day after Mays’ huge game against Atlanta. Mays had taken Lewis’ starting job already, and it sounds like Lewis asked for his release, but still, that’s pretty impressive for a rookie. Mays, in case you didn’t see it, had a phenomenal touchdown (both feet down!) after a punt block to give San Francisco a 14-0 lead. He also made 11 tackles.



3. John Carney, K, Saints: Carney, who will turn 65 later this year (I’m kidding, he’s 46), has returned once again to the NFL, and after making three kicks this past week, you have to wonder how much longer Garrett Hartley will stay on the roster – or why he’s on the roster at all at this point. Obviously, Carney isn’t the future kicker in this organization, and maybe the Saints are keeping Hartley around, because they’re hoping he can overcome what’s been a terrible start to the season for him. Otherwise, he’d already have been Pipp’d.

2. Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins:
Torain and Clinton Portis have split carries, but it seems that if this was the 100-meter dash at the Olympics, Torain would be Usain Bolt and Portis would be the other seven guys. Meaning Torain is pulling away and eventually will take Portis’ starting role. It could happen this week actually as Portis hurt his groin Sunday. Let me also briefly mention San Diego’s Mike Tolbert, who replaced first-round pick Ryan Mathews when he was injured and rushed for 255 combined yards the past three games (including a 100-yard performance Sunday when Mathews was in the game). But coach Norv Turner says he’s committed to keeping Mathews as the starter, so Tolbert doesn’t fit on this list all that well.

1. Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns: It was supposed to be Montario Hardesty and Jerome Harrison running the ball in Cleveland. Hillis – who was traded from Denver in the Brady Quinn deal this past offseason – was supposed to be just an afterthought. Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs had never heard of the guy until he ripped off 180 total yards (144 on the ground, the most Baltimore has allowed in five years) against the Ravens. With Hardesty out with a season-ending injury and with Harrison failing to make an impression on the Cleveland coaching staff, Hillis has taken advantage, tying the league high with four touchdowns and averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Like Gehrig, it appears that Hillis has no future plans to give up his starting spot.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: October 4, 2010 5:38 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2010 6:03 pm
 

Hot Routes 10.4.10: box score tidbits



Posted by Andy Benoit


The Cardinals managed a paltry 124 yards of total offense against the Chargers. And 124 is also only three times the number of points Arizona gave up.

Antonio Gates was targeted seven times. He finished with seven catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Those are the type of numbers a player puts up when going up against thin air.

The Chargers defense had nine sacks.

Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday started their NFL-record 158th game together. (The previous record of 157 was held by Jim Kelly and Kent Hull.)

Donovan McNabb completed just 8/19 passes in his return to Philly. That’s his lowest completion total in a win since his NFL starting debut (which, coincidentally, came against the Redskins).

Santana Moss had zero catches and was targeted just one time.

Quintin Mikell led the Eagles with seven tackles, though none were dynamic enough to make us forget the one he missed (you know, when Ryan Torain plowed over him for a touchdown run).

Arian Foster sat out the first quarter against the Raiders for disciplinary reasons. That allowed Derrick Ward to rise from the dead and finish the day with 12 carries for 80 yards. (Interesting that Steve Slaton wouldn’t get more carries in this instance.) Foster still got his, too. He gained 131 yards on 16 carries, including a sensational 74-yard touchdown.

T. Mays celebrates his TD after he blocked an Atlanta punt (AP). Raiders tight end Zach Miller caught 11 passes for 122 yards and a score. On the other side, Texans backup tight end Joel Dreessen led the team with five catches for 73 yards and a score. (Perhaps the bigger news is that Owen Daniels, in a contract year and coming off a serious knee injury, seems to be assuming a backseat role).

Haloti Ngata had 11 tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss and two quarterback hits against the Steelers. And yes, in just watching the down-to-down action, Ngata was indeed THAT dominant.

The Saints ran 79 plays Sunday. The Panthers ran 47. The Saints had 27 first downs. The Panthers had 10. (The game was close because the Saints were just 1/5 in the red zone and lost two fumbles.)

Panthers linebacker James Anderson had 16 tackles and a sack.

Saints safety Usama Young played well filling in for an injured Roman Harper. Young led the team with six tackles and recorded a sack and a tackle for a loss.

Seahawks running back Justin Forsett looked much better against the Rams than his 19-carry, 65-yards stat line suggests. Forsett showed great initial quickness and lateral agility between the tackles. Credit the Rams linebackers and defensive backs for keeping him in check.

Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons had two sacks for the second straight week.

Kyle Orton threw for 341 yards against the Titans. He also attempted 50 passes for the third time this season (the Broncos are 1-2 when he does).

Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal both went over 100 receiving yards. It was Lloyd’s third 100-yard game of the season. Denver also had two 100-yard receivers against the Colts (Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney).

Chris Johnson’s longest run against the Broncos went for just eight yards. His backup, Javon Ringer, ripped off a 54-yarder. (To be fair, Ringer was ultimately chased down on that run; Johnson would have taken it to the house.)

Dave Ball had 2.5 of Tennessee’s six sacks of Kyle Orton.

The Lions ran 78 total plays; the Packers ran 40. A week after setting a franchise record with penalties 18 penalties for 152 yards, Green Bay benefitted from 13 Detroit penalties totaling 102 yards.

Charles Woodson recorded his 10th interception return for a touchdown, third most in NFL history. (Rod Woodson holds the record with 12; Sharper is next with 11. Deion Sanders had 9.)

Jordy Nelson lost two fumbles for the Packers. (And the lost fumbles never turned up…we think someone from the Lions may have found them.)

Brandon Pettigrew had a career day, catching eight passes for 91 yards. He’s another guy who has successfully bounced back from a late ’09 ACL injury.

Taylor Mays did not just have a spectacular blocked punt touchdown for the 49ers, he also led the team with 11 tackles. Looks like Michael Lewis won’t be getting his starting job back any time soon.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com