Fooch's Update: 49ers sign Kassim Osgood to replace James, but still need a running back
Jeff Sperbeck, agent for San Francisco 49ers running back LaMichael James just tweeted that the team has granted his request to be released. There is no word yet from the 49ers, but unless his agent was hacked, this would seem to be the end of his time with the 49ers. James was active in the 49ers season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, but he lost his return job to Bruce Ellington, and only received two rushes on the day.
It has been an up and down time for James in San Francisco, with more downs than ups. The 49ers invested a second round pick in James back in 2012, and it actually looked like he might become a useful cog in the offense. When Kendall Hunter went down with an Achilles injury, and Brandon Jacobs imploded on the team, James got his opportunity. He had some success mixed in with some struggles, but it seemed like he had earned a future with the team.
Things quickly fell apart in 2013 due to an MCL sprain in training camp. He quickly fell down the depth chart, and that was about it. He got his chances as a return man, but it was clear the 49ers were not going to use him in the run game. The 49ers now move forward with Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde as their primary running backs. We'll see who they sign to eventually replace James on the roster.
Fooch's Update 11:29 a.m.:
Spoke with LaMichael James' agent, Jeff Sperbeck: "Everyone kind of realized it was best for both sides." #49ers— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) September 8, 2014
Sperbeck: (The #49ers) could have held on to him and said 'Hey, we need him.' They were very professional about it.— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) September 8, 2014
LaMichael James' agent said there had been talks with #49ers about a release for the "last few weeks."— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) September 8, 2014