Mike James
James with the Miami Hurricanes in 2012
No. 25     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-04-13) April 13, 1991 (age 29)
Place of birth: Haines City, Florida
Career information
College: Miami (FL)
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 6 / Pick: 189
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( 2013 2016)
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Career NFL statistics as of 2017
Rushing yards     351
Rushing average     4.2
Rushing touchdowns     0
Receptions     15
Receiving yards     60
Receiving touchdowns     0

Mike James (born April 13, 1991) is an American football running back who is currently a free agent in the National Football League (NFL). James was selected in the 6th round (189th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played college football at the University of Miami.

Early yearsEdit

James attended Ridge Community High School in Davenport, Florida, where he played for the Bolts football team.[1] He was selected to The Ledger's all-county first-team as a running back and to the Mobile Press-Register's Super Southeast 120.[1] He was also an Florida Sports Writers Association All-State honorable mention.[1] Coming out of high school he was ranked as the 18th-best running back prospect by, the 21st-best by, and the 33rd-best by[1]

College careerEdit

James attended the University of Miami, where he played four seasons for the Hurricanes football team. During his collegiate career he rushed rushed for 1,386 yards on 312 carries with 17 touchdowns, while also recording 585 receiving yards and 5 reception TD's.[1] During the 2010 and 2011 seasons, he played mainly as a backup for Damien Berry and Lamar Miller. During the 2012 season, he and Duke Johnson shared playing time. As a senior he was honored with the Community Service Man of the Year Award, Captain's Award, Melching Leadership Award, and was named Jack Harding Team Most Valuable Player.[1]

Professional careerEdit

Tampa Bay BuccaneersEdit

James was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth round (189th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. On May 13, 2013, he signed a four-year deal worth $2,263,152 which also included a $103,152 signing bonus. During his rookie season he rushed for 295 yards on 60 carries,[2] including a 158-yard game against Seattle during week 9.[3] His season ended the following week against Miami when he broke his ankle on a goal-line run.[4][5]

During the 2014 season James rushed for 37 yards in 11 games played.[2] The next year he was released by the Buccaneers on September 29, then signed to the practice squad on October 1, and promoted to the active roster on December 26, 2015.[2] He did not play in any games during the 2015 season.[2] James was waived by the Buccaneers on September 7, 2016, following an injury.[6]

Detroit LionsEdit

On October 3, 2016, the Detroit Lions signed James to their practice squad.[7] He was released on October 25, 2016.[8]

Tampa Buccaneers (second stint)Edit

On November 1, 2016, James was re-signed by the Buccaneers.[9] He played in four games before being waived on November 29.[10]

Detroit Lions (second stint)Edit

On December 3, 2016, James was re-signed to the Lions' practice squad.[11] He signed a reserve / future contract with the Lions on January 9, 2017.[12] On August 15, 2017, the Lions placed James on injured reserve with a concussion.[13]

Cannabis use and advocacyEdit

James is an advocate for the medical use of cannabis, which he says can help reduce addiction to opioids among NFL players. James says cannabis helped him overcome his own painkiller addiction while recovering from a severe ankle injury sustained in 2013.[14] In 2018, after failing a drug test the previous year, James filed a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) with the NFL to allow him to use cannabis.[15] The petition was later denied, but James' attorney said that discussion with league officials was ongoing.[16][17]

James was featured in the CNN documentary Weed 4 discussing his use of cannabis as an alternate pain-reliever and his push for the NFL to allow its use.[15] James is also a co-chair of the Doctors for Cannabis Regulation NFL steering committee.[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Mike James". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Detroit Lions: Mike James". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  3. Howell, Leo (November 3, 2013). "Mike James Proves He Has the Talent to Enjoy Promising Future with Buccaneers". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  4. Wesseling, Chris (November 12, 2013). "Mike James out for Bucs' season with fractured ankle". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  5. "2013 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike James injury". January 10, 2018.
  6. "Buccaneers Waive (Injured) RB Mike James". September 7, 2016.
  7. "Lions sign RB Mike James to practice squad". October 3, 2016.
  8. Bouda, Nate (October 25, 2016). "Lions Waive RB Mike James From Practice Squad, Sign OL Mike Rotheram".
  9. Smith, Scott (November 1, 2016). "Bucs Sign RB James, Trade CB Banks".
  10. Smith, Scott (November 29, 2016). "Major Wright Returns Amid Week 12 Moves".
  11. "Lions sign WR TJ Jones to active roster and activate DE Armonty Bryant". December 3, 2016.
  12. "Lions sign nine players to Reserve/Future List". January 9, 2017.
  13. "Lions waive G Matt Rotheram and place DE Kerry Hyder, RB Mike James on IR". August 15, 2017.
  14. Maese, Rick (May 1, 2018). "An NFL running back says he needs one thing to continue his football career: weed". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Howard, Jacqueline (April 30, 2018). "NFL player makes medical marijuana history: 'I have a life to live'". CNN. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  16. Politi, Steve (May 8, 2018). "NFL to players in pain: Get hooked on opioids rather than try marijuana". NJ Advance Media. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  17. Gwilliam, Louise (June 1, 2018). "Cannabis and sport: NFL's Mike James asks for permission to use cannabis". BBC Sport. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  18. "NFL Steering Committee Chairs". Retrieved May 13, 2018.

External linksEdit


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