Ducks in the NFL: LMJ Among Two Former Oregon Running Backs Cut

The first week of the NFL season is behind us and teams are still looking to shape their respective rosters for the upcoming 2014 season. Two former Oregon Ducks are now free agents after being cut by their respective teams on Monday. Former Oregon Ducks Running Back LaMichael James was granted his release, by request, from the San Francisco 49ers and Kenjon Barner was released by the Philadelphia Eagles.

James has shown his frustration with the team through social media over the last eighteen months and earlier this year had the chance to make it higher on the San Francisco roster when Starter Kendall Hunter went down with an injury on the first day of Fall Camp. The opportunity disappeared as quickly as it appeared in the form of an injury, which held James out for several weeks and allowed Rookie Calros Hyde to win over the coaches and earn a key rosters spot, leading James to request his release from the team which was granted on Monday.

He is now free to sign with any team in the NFL and there are several possibilities, including Baltimore where the Ravens are looking to replace the released and NFL Suspended Ray Rice or he could land with an old friend in Philadelphia with his former coach at Oregon with Chip Kelly. One this is clear to me, James has the talent to make and NFL roster. He needs time to gain experience and needs to find a team that will be patient with him. He also needs to shake off the injury bug.

Another Oregon Duck, Kenjon Barner is in a similar position to James. He was buried on the depth chart in Carolina the last few seasons and was traded last month to the Philadelphia Eagles. Barner was injured in the final preseason game and was cut from Philly on Monday. He also has a chance to land with another team.

Barner and James are talented athletes and can fill a spot as a returner or a running back. Time will tell over the next few weeks if they will have a chance, or if a team in the NFL will give these two athletes an opportunity to get back in the field.