Golden Nuggets: 49ers reportedly shopping LaMichael James and is a change in defense possible?

Streeter Lecka

Thursday, April 17, 2014 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the internet.

Good morning everyone, for the first time in what feels like months, the 49ers have some actual football news that we can talk about (Huzzah!). According to Matt Barrows, the 49ers are shopping LaMichael James. This news isn't exactly shocking as he was already third on the depth chart and has a very real possibility of being leapfrogged by a healthy Marcus Lattimore. James is a talented player, but his fit would clearly be much better on a spread out offense like the one his former college coach Chip Kelly runs in Philadelphia. Getting more than a low day three pick would be hard at this point, but as a fan of LaMichael James the person, It would be nice to see him sent to a team where he can get more playing time.

A second article of Matt Barrows was really interesting and covers a subject I have pondered at times over the past few seasons. With NaVorro Bowman injured and Aldon Smith possibly out, is the 3-4 base scheme the best defensive scheme to run? At this point it's a little late to change defenses, but it's still fun to consider and as players age it could be a possibility in the future. Barrows makes the point that without Bowman or Aldon, the 49ers go from having plus depth at LB to having the strength of their depth on the D-line. A 4-3 scheme would allow the 49ers to better take advantage of that depth than a 3-4. Just for fun, let's look at how the current front seven sans Aldon Smith could be shifted around, sure a draftee could take a starting job, but its impossible to tell where. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald would surely play as 3-techniques and Glen Dorsey and Ian Williams could rotate in on run downs. The edge rushers get interesting without Aldon because Ahmad Brooks would probably still be a linebacker, so that would leave Corey Lemoneir and Tank Carradine as edge rushers. Michael Wilhoite or Dan Skuta would still be the weak link whether they play 3-4 or 4-3 but I see Barrows point on where the strength of the depth is. I still think it's a little early to say that Aldon will not play, but if Tim Kawakami is correct, pass rusher immediately shoots up to the top of the draft need chart. Now lets get the the links.

Report: 49ers looking to trade James (Maiocco)

Aldon Smith won't be gone, but how many chances remain? (Gin)

No Bowman? No Aldon? Is 3-4 still best defense for 49ers? (Barrows)

Free agent center Jonathan Goodwin visits Saints (Maiocco)

Source: Lloyd's 49ers contract includes no guaranteed money (Maiocco)

Young 49ers to Watch as Offseason Program Nears (49ers)

The 49ers and Colin Kaepernick’s contract extension: Still on course, but possibly delayed by the run of recent events (Kawakami)

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