Things haven’t really worked out for LaMichael James in the NFL, getting his request granted, released by the San Francisco 49ers. Now it’s off to find a new team, with the Philadelphia Eagle, Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens all possibly going after the running back.
James has only 41 carries for 184 yards since being a second round pick in the 2012 draft for the Niners, who did use him quite often in the return game during the 2013 season, but the drafting of Carlos Hyde meant that James’ opportunities of getting touches behind Frank Gore were going to be very limited if not diminished completely.
James was a big star for Oregon in college, which included two First Team Pac-12 selections and being a unanimous All-American in 2010. He had a great time under Chip Kelly, the current head coach of the Eagles, which means there’s a connection that might help bring him to Philadelphia, despite the Eagles being quite stacked at running back with LeSean McCoy, followed by backups Darren Sproles and Chris Polk.
James has a better chance of playing for someone else, especially the likes of the Baltimore Ravens who have just released Ray Rice. With Justin Forsett, Bernanrd Pierce and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro manning the depth charts, the Ravens might be looking to add another running back to help out their struggling running game, and James should be good enough to earn a spot on a four-running back roster.
The Seattle Seahawks love picking up players from the 49ers if only to learn a bit more about their big rivals’ plans and formations. James comes in handy as a punt returner, where the Seahawks are looking for someone after Golden Tate left them in the off-season to Detroit, and Earl Thomas has already fumbled once during his debut at the position.
James played a meaningful part in the 49ers reaching the Super Bowl in early 2013, scoring two touchdowns in the win over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game, one as a receiver and the other in a rush play. One game doesn’t mean everything, but James has shown that when given the chance to succeed, he’s usually quite the reliable player to lean on.