The Bears could use some depth at the safety position – or even at linebacker.
A “rumor” had been thrown around 49ers players that the Bears made a recent trade proposal for safety Taylor Mays that the 49ers swatted away. The 49ers two weeks ago sent league wide email to reveal that Mays was on the trade block, for the right price. Mays did not respond, and the 49ers denied receiving any trade offer from the Bears.
With rookie Chris Conte and special teams wonder Craig Steltz as the only options behind starters Chris Harris and Major Wright, it’s nowhere near groundbreaking that the Bears are seeking help at the safety spot. Behind the starters at linebacker, you have two rookies (sixth round; J.T. Thomas, undrafted; Dom DeCicco) and a special teams ace (Brian Iwuh). You get the picture.
Mays, a ’10 second-round draft pick from USC, is a “workout hero” who’s known for his strong-hitting ability. Although he’s a “gym rat” and possesses the potential to become a starting strong safety, he leaves much to be desired with his limited football IQ and coverage skills. Move to linebacker? I don’t know if he’s a fit, as the Bears are looking for safeties with ideal range to defend the pass. Yet, it doesn’t hurt to take a flyer on Mays at linebacker, and get fifty cents on the dollar if possible.
Update: The potential Mays-to-Bears deal is now a “dead issue,” sources said on Friday. It’s unclear what the Bears desired to trade in their attempt to acquire the Southern California product.
LB not Safety: It is said to believe the Bears would have probably switched Mays (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) from his normal safety spot to linebacker. Because of the time it would take Mays to adjust and with the regular season quickly approaching, the Bears called off the dogs.
Merriman Saga: According to Buffalo Sports Daily, Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman may have had an “extra hand” sacking Caleb Hanie on back-to-back plays last Saturday. Now we know why left tackle J’Marcus Webb was unable to “match Merriman’s intensity.”