5 mid-tier free agents 49ers must pursue (and can afford)

The Niners can't overspend on the free-agent market this offseason, but there are still some likable options who won't be too expensive.

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (L) vs Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (R)
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (L) vs Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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The 49ers won't have a ton of money available in NFL free agency, but they can smartly spend on these five offseason targets.

General manager John Lynch and the San Francisco 49ers probably aren't going to be spending top dollar on the 2024 free-agent market this offseason.

After all, according to Over the Cap, the Niners are currently just $834,165 below the projected salary cap. While that number isn't awful and can be increased by extensions, restructures and even cap casualties, Lynch and Co. are still somewhat handcuffed by the fact they're pressed up against the cap heading into the 2024 offseason.

Related story: 5 contracts holding the Niners back right now

A year ago, San Francisco spent big on star defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, inking him to a four-year, $81 million contract.

Don't expect too many (if any) of those kinds of deals this offseason.

Instead, Lynch and the 49ers may seek out cheaper mid-tier players to boost a roster ready to win a Super Bowl now.

These five make a good deal of sense.

No. 5: Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (Lions)

The Niners have two of their three starting corners locked into place with Deommodore Lenoir covering the slot and Charvarius Ward out on the boundary.

However, San Francisco's other two better-known options, Isaiah Oliver and Ambry Thomas, aren't likely in the team's long-term plans. Oliver struggled mightily early last season and was eventually benched, while Thomas enters the final year of his rookie contract and might struggle to make the 53-man roster.

So, how about a reunion with a former 49ers standout?

Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley rose through the Niners ranks as an undrafted free agent, eventually starting for much of 2019 and becoming a quality defensive back in 2021 and 2022 before taking a free-agent deal with the Detroit Lions in 2023.

A free agent again in 2024, injuries have unfortunately played a significant role in Moseley's pro career. But, when healthy, he's shown he can be a reliable coverage option. While it's unfortunate, his 2023 ACL tear suffered early in the season should lower his asking price considerably.

A low-risk, potentially high-reward deal here could fully solve San Francisco's woes within the secondary.