San Francisco 49ers running back LaMichael James has been released by the team, according to James' agent Jeff Sperbeck. The returner/running back has been the subject of trade rumors for two seasons, as the 49ers have seemingly failed to use him properly. Bleeding Green Nation has discussed James as a potential trade target in the past as well.
James spent two seasons with the 49ers and played for the team on Sunday against the Cowboys. In 15 career games, James had just 41 carries for 184 rushing yards (4.5 YPC) and five receptions for 45 receiving yards. However, as a returner, he was effective. He averaged 28.4 yards on 26 kick returns and 10.9 yards on punt returns. He had two carries for zero yards in his season debut against Dallas.
With James on the waiver wire, it's fair to wonder whether the Eagles will have interest in him. The team already has LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles and Chris Polk on the active roster and Matthew Tucker on the practice squad. However, Polk missed Week 1 due to injury and Nolan Carroll isn't the most ideal candidate to return kicks, so James may be worth adding to the squad.
The Eagles may have interest in the former Oregon Duck, but will have to hope that the 21 teams in front of them on the waiver wire decide to pass on his talent. The Ravens, Raiders and Buccaneers all clearly suffered from running back struggles on Sunday. Baltimore released Ray Rice on Monday (more), while Tampa Bay and Cleveland are dealing with injuries to their starters. All three of those teams are way ahead of the Eagles on the waiver wire.