The 49ers expressed interest in bringing him back despite a torn ACL in 2022, but cornerback Emmanuel Moseley is off to the Lions instead.
The San Francisco 49ers’ secondary already took a notable hit during the opening wave of NFL free agency when the versatile defensive back, Jimmie Ward, departed the only team for which he’s ever played at the pro level and joined the Houston Texans under now-head coach DeMeco Ryans.
That loss might have been foreseen in the wake of the Niners re-signing fellow safety Tashaun Gipson just days before Ward left.
In the case of cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, though, San Francisco didn’t pick between one player or the other.
Emmanuel Moseley leaves 49ers in NFL free agency, to sign with Lions instead
San Francisco had previously expressed interest in bringing Moseley back despite him having suffered a torn ACL in Week 5 last year.
“We like Moseley, who he is as a person, who he is as a player,” general manager John Lynch told the team’s website from the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month. “He fits us well and so that’s a position that you always need depth, and if he can provide that I think it’s a good thing for us.”
It appears as if Moseley had other plans, though.
Reported first by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday, Moseley will be joining the Detroit Lions on a one-year deal worth $6 million:
It’s not totally clear if that number is above what the 49ers were willing to offer the 26-year-old former undrafted free agent out of Tennessee.
What is clear is that the Niners will have to explore contingency plans for Moseley’s absence, and it’ll be a big void to fill.
If there’s some solace, San Francisco had to figure this out last season in the wake of Moseley’s Week 5 ACL tear. While the 49ers shifted some players around periodically, fellow corner Deommodore Lenoir emerged as the top option on the boundary in Moseley’s absence.
It seems likely as if the Niners would go that route again, barring any roster changes and transactions (there will be some) between now and Week 1.
Meanwhile, Moseley will look to help continue Detroit’s upward rebuild under head coach Dan Campbell.