CARLISLE, PA., AUG. 14 -- Alvoid Mays, having been cut by the Houston Oilers last summer, said he was not going to take the word of one organization that he did not belong in pro football.
Mays had been an eighth-round draft choice in 1989, but he was chosen by a team that did not need help at cornerback. When no one else picked him up, he went back to his home in Florida, recorded a rap single that will be released in a few weeks and waited for other offers.
He was considering one from the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League when the Washington Redskins phoned last winter. The Redskins told him they were thin at cornerback and invited him to Redskin Park to start preparing for training camp.
That move turned out to be a good one because, barring a trade, Mays appears to have a good shot at making the team. He received respectable grades in Saturday's 31-27 loss to Atlanta and apparently will get another chance Friday night at RFK Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mays has wound up in a perfect situation. With A.J. Johnson out for the season after undergoing knee surgery and Brian Davis sidelined with a quadriceps pull, the Redskins are desperate for help at the corner.
"We're giving some young guys chances they might not normally have," Coach Joe Gibbs said.
General Manager Charley Casserly has phoned around looking for cornerbacks, but says flatly: "There just aren't any out there."
A starter on West Virginia's Fiesta Bowl team two years ago, Mays said: "It's really in the hands of the coaches. I think I'm playing okay, but it helps if you can make a big play. That opens a lot of eyes. If I keep at it, I think I'll be okay."
If he doesn't make it in football, he has music to fall back on. Mays works at a radio station near his home in Palmetto and said: "It's something I really enjoy. I started cutting the single not knowing if it would be released. Now, I'm hoping for big things." . . .
Casserly has shown interest in several cornerbacks, including Pro Bowler Albert Lewis, who has not reported to the Kansas City Chiefs. Casserly said the Chiefs told him Lewis was not available and would not be available.
Lewis has a contract for $600,000 this season. Sources said he decided not to report after Chiefs General Manager Carl Peterson reneged on an offer to renegotiate.
The Chiefs privately said his holdout is a money matter and nothing more, and that if they trade him, they will have two dozen veterans walking up and demanding trades. Sources near Lewis said just the opposite, that he won't play for the Chiefs again and is prepared to sit out the entire season.