The 49ers suffered another key loss from the secondary on Tuesday, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported cornerback Emmanuel Moseley has agreed to a one-year, $6 million contract with the Detroit Lions. Deals can be announced beginning at 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday once the 2023 NFL league year restarts.
The move comes less than 24 hours after Jimmie Ward reportedly agreed to join DeMeco Ryans in Houston, meaning two starters from last year’s nickel set are gone.
The Lions are taking some risk with Moseley, as he suffered an ACL injury in Week 5 on Oct. 9 last year. Before going down, Moseley looked like a solid CB2 on the other side of the field from Mooney Ward. Deommodore Lenoir improved as last season went on and figures to slot into the starting corner spot again this season.
Strong safety Tashaun Gipson is coming back on a one year, $2.9 million deal after forming a quality duo with free safety Talanoa Hufanga in 2022. Now that Jimmie Ward is gone, the 49ers’ biggest question mark in the secondary remains the nickel back position. We’ll have to see if San Francisco thinks Samuel Womack is ready for the role in his second season or if the Niners pursue another answer in free agency.
Moseley, also known as E-Man, was beloved by his teammates during his five seasons with the 49ers. He only has four career interceptions, but proved himself as a reliable cover corner over the past two seasons.
At the end-of-the-season press conference, 49ers general manager John Lynch said he wanted to keep Moseley around, so it appears they were outbid for his services.
“E-Man is doing really well,” Lynch said on Feb. 1. “He's out on the field as we speak, working out here and rehabbing, doing really well. Most of the time, unless somebody's hit a complication you typically hear doing really well, a little bit ahead of schedule because these guys are elite athletes and if you know Mose at all, his commitment to the process is going to be elite. And that's what he's done. He was down in L.A., rehabbing for a long time, we've had him back for the last couple weeks. He's a free agent. He's a guy we'd have interest in bringing back because of the way he plays, but also what he stands for. He's one of us and we'd sure like to have him back.”