Deal for Mays worked out -- a year later

September 21, 2011, 6:28 pm
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The Cincinnati Bengals were prepared to give the 49ers a fourth-round draft pick for the right to select Taylor Mays a little more than a year after the 49ers settled for significantly less compensation.The Bengals eventually acquired Mays and had to send the 49ers only a seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft.The 49ers sent out an email to all 31 other NFL teams early in training camp to announce that Mays was available in a trade. A couple weeks later, the Bengals and the 49ers hammered out an agreement that sent Mays to the Bengals.Mays is rounding into shape after missing a couple weeks with a knee injury. Coach Marvin Lewis declined to say whether Mays will be in uniform against the 49ers on Sunday.In 2010, the Bengals owned the No. 54 overall pick in the second round. They contacted the 49ers about trading the No. 49 overall selection. The teams would've swapped places in the second round, and the Bengals would've sent the 49ers their fourth-round pick for the right to select Mays."We're pleased," Lewis said of the trade that happened more than a year later. "We think it was a good thing for both teams. I think both teams are happy. They decided to sign more veteran players and we wanted to get a young player we could develop for our future here. So I think it was a plus for both clubs."Mays joins former 49ers defensive players Nate Clements and Manny Lawson with the Bengals. The fact the Bengals added Clements and Lawson was coincidental, Lewis said. But there was a clear reason the 49ers and Bengals worked out the deal that sent Mays to Cincinnati."In Taylor's case, I think Trent (Baalke) knew we had an interest in Taylor," Lewis said of the 49ers' general manager. "During the (2010) draft, we called them and asked if they wanted to trade their slot to us. And they ended up taking Taylor. We were going to do the same thing."Then-49ers coach Mike Singletary was Mays' biggest advocate in the draft room. But Jim Harbaughs new coaching staff did not believe Mays had the coverage skills to make a contribution. Now, the Bengals are eager to see how Mays can be utilized."He's got to get an opportunity," Lewis said. "Unfortunately for us, he sprained his knee in the last preseason game. So he has not been able to be full speed up until the end of last week. So he hasn't had enough practice time with us to understand."But we believe he has a good skill set, that he's a big man who can run. In the two preseason games he got an opportunity to play in here, he did a nice job of showing his range and coming up and being a physical player in the run support, and so forth, with good fits and leverage."

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