The 31-year-old forward started his career at Fir Park before moving south to play for Everton, Birmingham City then, latterly, Sunderland.
He returned to North Lanarkshire in February 2013 and signed on again last summer, starting 23 times during the campaign just ended and scoring five times as Stuart McCall's side finished as runners-up in the SPFL Premiership.
McCall told Motherwell's official website: "I had James in last Friday and we had a discussion about the future and everything was very amicable. I cannot speak highly enough of his attitude, desire and professionalism, particularly when [he was] going through a difficult patch or when he was injured.
"In the past, we could possibly have used James in a number of positions, but I think he is at his best when played through the middle as a striker. We have five different options in that position and need to utilise the budget in other areas of the squad."
Another player saying his farewells yesterday was David van Zanten who has ended his nine-year association with St Mirren. The Irishman announced he would be leaving the Paisley club after his contract was not renewed. He won the Challenge Cup and first division championship in his first spell at the club between 2003 and 2008, then was part of last year's League Cup-winning side after returning to St Mirren in 2010 after stints with Hibernian, Morton and Hamilton Academical.
Van Zanten yesterday met the new manager Tommy Craig, who confirmed the 32 year-old would be released. The defender took to Twitter to reveal the news. "I'm very sad to announce that my time at St Mirren has come to an end," he said. "The nine years I've spent at the club have, without doubt, been the most enjoyable of my career. I'm extremely proud to have played for St Mirren and, of course, to leave with three winners medals which I will treasure for the rest of my life.
"The club has given my family and I the most amazing memories and I've made some of my best friends in football there. I'd like to thank everyone involved with the club, from the board to the fans, for their support throughout the years and I'd like to wish Tommy, Jim [Goodwin] & Gary [Teale] all the best for the future. Finally, I'd like to thank my past and current team-mates. It has been a pleasure to have shared a dressing room with these guys and they have played a huge part in my memories at the club."
One man who is staying with his present club is Gary Warren, who has signed a new three-year deal with Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The 29-year-old defender, who signed from Newport County in 2012, had 12 months remaining on his contract but is "delighted" with his new deal which ties him to Caley until 2017.
Warren said: "I've really enjoyed living in Inverness and playing at the top level. Playing for this club is a real privilege, I have never been at a club before that embraces and engages with the community as we do at ICTFC. We may be small in numbers in comparison to other clubs but we have something special from top to bottom."