49ers Want To Retain CB Emmanuel Moseley

The 49ers would like to re-sign cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, as GM John Lynch told reporters at his end-of-year presser last week. “He’s a guy we’d have interest in bringing back because of the way he plays, but also what he stands for,” Lynch said. “He’s one of us and we’d sure like to have him back” (via Kirk Larrabee of 49ers WebZone).

Moseley, a 2018 UDFA who broke through as a key player for the Niners during the 2019 season, landed a two-year, $10.1MM contract in March 2021. Unfortunately, a knee injury and an ankle malady forced him to miss six games during the 2021 regular season — though he did return to play every snap of the team’s three-game playoff run — and an ACL tear suffered in October cut his 2022 season short after just five games.

Even if the recent injury woes come up in contract negotiations, Lynch apparently is unconcerned about Moseley’s long-term prognosis. He indicated that Moseley’s recovery is going smoothly, and while he did not explicitly say so, it sounds as if Moseley could be cleared for the start of the 2023 season.

When he has been on the field, the Tennessee product has generally played well. He earned a solid 68.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021 and a 70.9 mark for his limited work in 2022, and PFF thought highly of his coverage abilities in both years. Underscoring those metrics are the miniscule 65.6 and 66.9 quarterback ratings that he has yielded over the past two seasons, and his ability to line up outside the numbers and in the slot further enhance his value.

Speaking of value, Spotrac suggests that Moseley could land a four-year deal paying him just shy of $17MM per season on the open market. As Larrabee notes, it is unclear if Lynch will need to go that far, with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area recently suggesting that Moseley may have to settle for a one-year, “prove-it” deal. On the other hand, the fact that the 49ers do not boast much by way of proven CB depth behind Charvarius Ward and 2021 fifth-rounder Deommodore Lenoir — who performed well in the playoffs after an uneven regular season — could help Moseley’s leverage.

Longtime safety Jimmie Ward did line up as a nickel corner down the stretch of the 2022 season and acquitted himself nicely, but he is out of contract, and Maiocco believes he will want to return to his natural safety position. Maiocco says the club could seek another affordable pact with Tashaun Gipson, who signed a modest one-year deal at the start of the season as an injury replacement for Jimmie Ward and who never relinquished his hold on the the starting free safety job. If that happens, the team would likely bid adieu to Jimmie Ward.

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