49ers’ best, worst and most provocative moves in NFL free agency

Javon Hargrave #97 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Javon Hargrave #97 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Emmanuel Moseley, San Francisco 49ers
Emmanuel Moseley #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Worst NFL free agency move from 49ers: Letting Emmanuel Moseley walk

The 49ers’ defensive backfield was a strength to start out 2022, especially after the team inked former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward a year ago.

However, when the Niners lost Emmanuel Moseley to a season-ending ACL tear in Week 5, the cornerback room looked noticeably thinner. Granted, reserve corner Deommodore Lenoir rose to the occasion and put himself in a spot where he might start on the boundary in 2023.

That said, re-signing Moseley might have been a stronger play.

Moseley ultimately joined the Detroit Lions on a one-year, $6 million deal. And, as Sports Illustrated’s Jose Luis Sanchez argued, that’s cash that San Francisco could and should have offered:

"John Lynch indicated in his exit press conference back in early February, but the 49ers only wanted him back at their price. Clearly, $6 million is too much for them to invest for a guy coming off a torn ACL. That is a number that the 49ers easily could have matched and arguably would have been worth it. Moseley is a tremendous cornerback who was playing lights out in the first five games of the 2022 season before getting injured."

Read More: Emmanuel Moseley leaves Niners for Lions in free agency

$6 million for a starting boundary corner is cheap, and Moseley has been a tremendous defender.

Perhaps the 49ers weren’t comfortable in investing that kind of money in a player coming off a torn ACL, and that’s fine.

But Lenoir isn’t exactly an inspiring replacement at the moment, and this move could come back to haunt the Niners later.