Mailbag: Should 49ers trade LaMichael James?

February, 15, 2014
Feb 15
9:00
AM ET
Weekend mail call:

Mark from Palm Harbor, Fla., wants to know if I think the 49ers should trade running back LaMichael James to the Eagles so he can reunite with his coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly.

Bill Williamson: I suggested James be dealt to the Eagles in October. I still believe it. James, a second-round pick in 2012, did make an impact as a returner in the second half of the season. But he didn't make much of an impact as a running back in 2013. With Marcus Lattimore expected to be healthy in 2014, I don't see James getting more offensive snaps. He has been known for making some cryptic tweets that have been perceived to be about his role. I'm sure Kelly would like to work with James again, but I doubt James would command much on the trade market. Still, I don't think dealing James would be the worst move the 49ers made.

Mark from Redondo Beach, Calif., wants to know if I think the 49ers should target a receiver or a cornerback in the first round.

BW: I believe the 49ers should consider receivers first. Now if the draft board falls so that it makes sense to take a cornerback first, that's fine. But the key to the 49ers' 2014 season is being better than Seattle. Getting better on offense and scoring more points against Seattle is paramount. That's why I think they should beef up on offense.

Brian from San Antonio wants to know why I ranked receiver Jon Baldwin as No. 59 out of 60 in my team rankings project.

BW: I just don't think Baldwin has a future with the 49ers. They were screaming for a young receiver to make a contribution and he couldn't get on the field. He had just three catches last season.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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