NFL Trade Rumors: 49ers shopping LaMichael James

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers may be willing to part ways with a player who was regarded as one of the most exciting prospects heading into the 2012 NFL Draft.

The San Francisco 49ers may be willing to part ways with backup running back LaMichael James. A former second-round pick by way of the Oregon Ducks, James hasn't done much since his entry into the NFL in 2012, and now the team is reportedly shopping him around to see what they could get in return for his services.

James ran for 5,082 yards and scored 53 rushing touchdowns while at Oregon, but has had only brief playing time behind Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, and possibly Marcus Lattimore on the depth chart going forward.

He's also clearly not a fan of his role with the 49ers, as evidenced by his response on Twitter to a fan who said he needed more touches:

It's unlikely the 49ers will be able to keep all four backs on the roster next year, but Gore is close to the end of his career at age 30 with nearly 10,000 career rushing yards on 2,187 carries.

If the 49ers do part with James, who also served as the team's primary punt returner, they won't draw anything more than a Day 3 pick, given the current market for NFL backs

This latest report does come two months after 49ers general manager Trent Baalke shot down any trade rumors involving James.

"No discussions," Baalke said. "LaMichael is a 49er. He'll continue to be a 49er."

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