Patriots invite veterans Ego Ferguson, Taylor Mays to rookie camp

Ego Ferguson was a second-round draft choice of the Bears in 2014. Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In their never-ending quest to explore the best possible personnel options to create competition on the roster, the New England Patriots have invited veterans Ego Ferguson and Taylor Mays, among others, to their upcoming minicamp according to ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates.

A defensive tackle, Ferguson was a highly touted prospect in 2014, entering the league as a second-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 300 pounds, he projected to fit best in a 4-3 scheme coming out of Louisiana State.

Ferguson played in 16 games as a rookie with Chicago in 2014, and then just four in 2015 before spending 2016 on injured reserve (shoulder). He was waived in early April of 2017, claimed briefly by the Green Bay Packers, and is once again a free agent. Green Bay waived him after he failed their physical.

Mays -- whose participation in New England's minicamp was first reported by NFL Network -- has played in 77 regular-season games, for the San Francisco 49ers (2010), Cincinnati Bengals (2011-2014) and Oakland Raiders (2015). He has also spent time with the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions in the offseason and/or preseason, but never appeared in a regular-season game for those clubs. Mays' 2016 season, in which he didn't appear in any regular-season games, included a four-game NFL suspension.

Having starred at Southern Cal, he entered the NFL as a second-round pick of San Francisco in 2010.