Running back has become thin for the Chicago Bears. Should they seriously consider pursuing LaMichael James?
Matt Forte age and loss of Michael Bush create a problem for Bears
It’s already been established the Bears won’t look to address depth concerns on offense until the third round of the draft at the earliest. Topping that list has to be running back. Marc Trestman was true to form in 2013 when the position became a focal point for his new offense. Matt Forte piled over 1,900 yards and 12 touchdowns to reach his second career Pro Bowl. However, he turns 28-years old this coming season, a dangerous age for players at his position. On top of that his former backup Michael Bush was already cut due to salary cap concerns. That leaves just 2013 undrafted free agent Michael Ford as the sole man on the depth chart behind Forte. Given the importance of the position to Trestman’s scheme, that is a problem that can’t be ignore. The question is how will the Chicago Bears front office solve it?
Kendall Hunter and Marcus Lattimore make James expendable
Sometimes when a team is so good at stockpiling talent at a certain position, certain players never really get a chance to showcase what they can do. That situation has befallen LaMichael James. The San Francisco 49ers are quite rich at the running back position. There is of course All-Pro Frank Gore and his primary backup Kendall Hunter. Now though James is getting pressure from the depth charter with 2013 draft choice Marcus Lattimore returning to full strength. His presence makes James unnecessary. That is likely the reason San Francisco has begun shopping the former Oregon star on the trade block. He is only 24-years old and carried the ball just 39 times in two seasons. His body has very little wear and tear on it and his great agility and speed offers added promise in the return game. The fact he averaged 4.7 yards per carry is also worth nothing. Running is not the problem, it’s simply not getting enough carries. Since the 49ers can’t give them to him, perhaps another team can.
The Chicago Bears would make a lot of sense. They have need for depth at running back, feature an offense that fits the skill set of James and could really use an upgrade in speed to go with their forest of big targets like Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett.