49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

August 22, 2011
Niners trade Taylor Mays to Cincinnati

The 49ers have traded safety Taylor Mays to the Bengals for an undisclosed draft pick, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. Mays has been on the trading block for two and a half weeks when the 49ers reportedly contacted the 31 other teams notifying them that the second-round pick in 2010 was available.


It was not clear yet what the 49ers will get in return. Mays started six games for the 49ers as a rookie but was eventually replaced by Reggie Smith. Mays was a favorite of Mike Singletary's - indeed it was Singletary who advocated for Mays during the draft - but not of the front office or the current coaching staff.

Mays has been playing with the third-string defense this offseason, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio today made it clear, when discussing safeties, that he was not in the 49ers' plans.

"We feel good with (Donte) Whitner, him (Reggie Smith), (Dashon) Goldson, (Madieu) Williams, and (C.J.) Spillman," Fangio said. 'We feel like we've got five safeties there that can play in the NFL. Some of them have great special teams value over the others, so if we have to keep four, that will be a hard decision. If we keep five, I think they will all be different pieces that we will use during the season."

To his credit, Mays did not complain about the 49ers treatment of him and has taken part in every practice since their interest in trading him became public. In Cincinnati, Mays will join 2010 teammates Manny Lawson and Nate Clements, whom the Bengals signed as free agents. The 49ers will visit Cincinnati Sept. 25.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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