San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James Likely Odd Man Out in Crowded Backfield

By Ronnie Hampston
Getty Images
Getty Images

LaMichael James is currently in an over-crowded backfield with the San Francisco 49ers. James is different from the other backs on the 49ers, but the needs for his services may be over sooner rather than later.

James is entering his third season out of Oregon, and has had a minimal impact so far in his NFL career. In two seasons James only has 39 carries, and with the addition of Carlos Hyde and a healthy Marcus Lattimore, James could see the field even less.

James is a scat back who it utilized in the return game as well. He has shown flashes at times, but he hasn’t done anything on a consistent basis that would guarantee a roster spot. I believe James can still be a productive player in the NFL, but it may not be with the 49ers.

Teams will not place a high trade value for James, because there is a great unknown of what he can do. Backs like James are important depending on a team’s style of play. James can find a niche as a poor man’s Darren Sproles as long as the fit is there. I could see a team trading a sixth or seventh-round pick for James. There is no doubt that he is talented, but those talents may have to be seen on another team.

Ronnie Hampston is a San Francisco 49ers writer for, follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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