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Why signing Emmanuel Moseley was Detroit Lions’ sneaky-best free agency move

49ers beat writer Matt Maiocco explains why the Detroit Lions may have scored big with free agent cornerback Emmanuel Moseley.

Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

Not long after the Detroit Lions made an aggressive push for former Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton—who they eventually signed to a three-year, $33 million deal—the Lions struck again at the cornerback position in free agency. The addition of 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley didn’t quite garner the attention of the Sutton signing, but the more you dug in on this guy, the more positive things you kept hearing about him.

So we continued to dig.

Last week, we chatted with 49ers beat writer Matt Maiocco to learn more about Moseley. One of the first things Maiocco said about the 27-year-old defender is that he was surprised the cornerback didn’t land with a team or coach who knew already him well, because those that have been close to him appreciate him on an even deeper level.

“He’s one of those guys that the closer you’re to, the more impressed by him you are,” Maiocco said. “So I really thought it would be somebody with a direct knowledge of him and who had worked with him in the past that would end up signing him.”

Obviously, Moseley has some health questions to answer as he recovers from a torn ACL back in October. However, Maiocco believes once that is in the past—which should be before Week 1—the Lions may have found themselves and elite player who was on the pinnacle of potential stardom before the injury hit.

“He’s just a really good player,” Maiocco said. “I was expecting him to really cash in and probably be the most sought-after cornerback on the free agent market had he made it through this past season injury-free.”

If you weren’t already hyped about this free agency pickup, I promise you will be after listening to our interview with Maiocco. It’s just a 25-minute episode, so take some time out of your holiday weekend to enjoy it.

Here’s what we talked about:

  • Are you surprised the 49ers didn’t re-sign Moseley? (3:30)
  • What makes him special to the people who know him well? (5:10)
  • Why Richard Sherman knew Moseley was going to be a hit as an undrafted free agent (6:00)
  • Will Moseley’s skills translate beyond a stacked 49ers defense? (8:35)
  • Where is Moseley in his ACL rehab? Could he start Week 1? (11:20)
  • Most memorable Moseley plays in his career (14:00)
  • A peek into Moseley’s off-field personality (19:40)
  • Maiocco gives his grade for the Lions’ signing (21:00)
  • BONUS: Why Maiocco believes the Lions will win the division (22:30)

Listen to the show below:

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.