American Football

Instant analysis of Emmanuel Moseley’s deal with Lions


San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Lions make another move towards revamping their cornerback room by signing Emmanuel Moseley to a 1-year deal.

On day two of the NFL’s legal-tampering period, the Detroit Lions went back to the cornerback well, this time signing free agent Emmanuel Moseley to a one-year contract reportedly worth $6 million.

Like recent Lions’ free agent acquisition Cameron Sutton, Moseley also played his college football at the University of Tennessee and was a teammate of the aforementioned Sutton during their time in Knoxville. After going undrafted in 2018, Moseley was signed by the San Francisco 49ers, where he would gradually work his way into a starting role by the 2021 season.

In 2022, Moseley was off to another strong start. He had tallied 19 total tackles, three pass breakups, and one interception before an ACL injury in Carolina sidelined him for the rest of the year. Obviously, the injury factored into the calculus of the deal that was struck between him and the Lions, but working one’s way into a starting position on a really talented San Francisco defense is nothing to scoff at.

And akin to the Sutton signing, the majority of the 49ers media and fans don’t seem overly happy with the loss of Moseley. Moseley brings experience to Detroit as an outside cornerback, will only be 27 when the 2023 season kicks off and is a reliable run-defender—something that is sure to warm defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn’s heart.

My instant reaction: To me, this feels somewhat like the Lions’ signing of wide receiver DJ Chark last year. Chark was a young player at the time with a lot of upside but was coming off of an injury that cut his last season short. Now after putting some impressive tape out to close the 2022 season, Chark is likely going to command a bigger deal now that he is again an unrestricted free agent.

Similar to Chark’s situation, had Moseley never gotten injured, he likely would have priced himself out of a short-term deal like the one he and the Lions have agreed to.

With both Sutton and Moseley in the fold, general manager Brad Holmes seems determined to not let the Lions’ secondary hold back the defense for another season. With their resumes and tape, it wouldn’t be surprising if the two are the Week 1 starters at outside corner for the Lions in 2023.

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