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Philadelphia Eagles release QB Tim Tebow

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When the Eagles dealt Matt Barkley on Friday, it looked as though Tim Tebow's path to the 53-man roster was clear.

Unfortunately for him, Chip Kelly just wasn't impressed enough. Tebow was let go on Saturday during the final hours of roster downsizing, the team announced Saturday. ESPN first reported the cut.

"I talked to him a little earlier today when we released him, he just needs to get more playing time," Kelly said during a news conference Saturday. "He needs to get out there and get actual reps because I think he's done a ton on his own on an individual basis, but it's about playing the game and taking that next step."

Tebow expressed his gratitude toward Kelly and the Eagles for giving him an opportunity:

Ultimately it wasn't about Barkley or Tebow winning a battle. It was about one of them looking like a pro-ready quarterback, and Kelly decided not give either a job. That doesn't mean he's locked into keeping only two quarterbacks. NFL Media's Rand Getlin says the team has interest in signing Christian Ponder, according to multiple sources. Ponder is expected to be cut or traded by the Oakland Raiders.  

Tebow's preseason was an interesting one. He showcased a new throwing motion and much improved mechanics, though he still struggled at times with reading defenses. He finished the four-game slate with a completion percentage near 60 with a pair of throwing touchdowns and an interception. He rushed for 82 yards and another score.

Heading into this preseason, he carried the weight of the worst completion percentage in football since 2010 (47.9).

"I think he really improved his throwing motion from when he was throwing a couple years ago," Kelly said. "He worked extremely hard on it and he deserves a lot of credit for that."

Because of his association with Kelly, many thought there was a larger plan at work. Tebow is more than just a quarterback and Kelly has been open in the past to cross-training players at different positions. At the least, he could have been a weapon on special teams and on two-point conversions.

So it goes for one of the league's most popular players. Though it looks like this could be his last shot -- he came to training camp in Philadelphia after a long break from the game -- Tebow has proven his detractors wrong in the past.

He last stepped on the field in a regular-season game late in the 2012 season with the Jets.

UPDATE: Tebow went unclaimed on waivers Sunday.

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