MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings finally signed their second unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, and this addition is much like their first: a low-profile player whose knowledge of the Vikings' system could make him a valuable pickup.
Safety Taylor Mays, who played three seasons for Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati, signed a one-year deal with the Vikings, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson. Mays, who visited the Vikings last week, is the second UFA the team added since the start of the new league year, following former St. Louis Rams quarterback Shaun Hill. The Vikings had targeted safety as a position of need, and while Mays -- who only started four games for the Bengals in his time with Zimmer -- likely won't be assured of a starting spot, he'll get a chance to compete for playing time.
The 27-year-old saw time at both safety positions for the Bengals, but his biggest contributions were on special teams. It could be there that Mays makes his mark in Minnesota, as well, and Mays has spent a little time at linebacker, too. The former second-round pick has the size and speed to help the Vikings, and like many of the defensive free agents the Vikings have pursued this offseason (Michael Johnson and Terence Newman), Mays has a history with Zimmer. It was clear at the end of last season the Vikings regarded the safety spot next to Harrison Smith as an open job, and Mays will be among those who gets his chance to claim it during training camp.