In a mild surprise, the 49ers announced that running back LaMichael James went unclaimed on waivers, as Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes. Now, the 2012 second-round pick is a free agent and can sign with any team in the NFL.
The Oregon product was once viewed as someone who could eventually carry the torch for Frank Gore but things did not work out that way. James’ frustrations with the team became public this offseason when word got out that he was on track to be the fourth tailback on the depth chart behind Gore, Kendall Hunter, and possibly Marcus Lattimore. Since then, Lattimore has gone down with a knee injury and Hunter was waived-injured, but talented rookie Carlos Hyde still leapfrogged him for the No. 2 job. Yesterday, James requested his release and his wish was granted by San Francisco.
Meanwhile, James sent out a tweet this afternoon that could be hinting at his football future, or perhaps his desire to move beyond the sport. “Football is a sport I love but it definitely doesn’t define me as a person I have so many things in life to be thankful for,” James wrote.