49ers shopping LaMichael James

Seldom-used LaMichael James may be soon out of San Francisco.

The Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday evening the 49ers are shopping the 2012 second-round pick with an eye on perhaps moving up in the draft.

It is unclear how much trade value James would have. The former Oregon star has not played much in his first two seasons, although he was productive as a returner in the second half of last season. The 49ers have a crowded backfield and it doesn't appear James will get more opportunities to carry the ball in 2014.

There have been rumblings of James' unhappiness since last season. He has occasionally made cryptic remarks on Twitter and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke have had to often discuss his situation.

At the combine in February, Baalke said James still had a place on the team.

An NFL source said Wednesday night that James would welcome a trade if he meant more playing time. The source would not say that James requested the trade.

A potential natural trade partner disappeared earlier this offseason when the Eagles acquired Darren Sproles -- a similar player to James. James has excelled under Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly at Oregon