The San Francisco 49ers will soon get their first look at two running backs, 2013 draft pick Marcus Lattimore and 2014 draft pick Carlos Hyde.
The arrival of those two players has only added fuel to the fire that 49ers could trade former Oregon Ducks’ running back LaMichael James. There have been rumors of a potential deal for some time, but the 49ers have continued to deny reports that they are shopping James.
Despite that report, Chris Wesseling of NFL.com believes the 49ers still could trade James.
Left out of the 49ers’ running back rotation even before the arrivals of Carlos Hyde and a relatively healthy Marcus Lattimore, James has seemingly been on the trading block for a year now. We suspect he hasn’t been moved because no team is willing to part with a mid- to late-round draft pick for an underwhelming scatback. He did star at Oregon under Eagles coach Chip Kelly.
Wesseling lists a pair of NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles as potential landing spots for James if he is traded.
James, of course, played for Kelly and could be an explosive weapon for an Eagle team that added former San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints’ running back Darren Sproles, but lost one of the game’s elite deep threats in wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Cowboys could also obviously find a place to use James, whether it is as a receiving weapon out of the back field or as a return man.
James rushed for 59 yards and was both a punt and kick returner last season.