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Tim Tebow's chances improved after draft

PHILADELPHIA -- When the Philadelphia Eagles signed quarterback Tim Tebow last month, it seemed like a long shot that Tebow would actually make the regular-season roster.

The Eagles had four quarterbacks on their roster: Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley and G.J. Kinne. More than that, they were widely expected to make a run at Oregon's Marcus Mariota in the draft. If they didn't get Mariota, which would have meant moving up to the No. 2 spot in the draft, there was speculation they could select Brett Hundley, Bryce Petty or Garrett Grayson later in the draft.

That didn't happen. The Eagles drafted six players and signed 16 undrafted players. None of those 22 is a quarterback. Furthermore, coach Chip Kelly revealed that Kinne is no longer a quarterback. After two years on the Eagles' practice squad, Kinne will try to make the team as a hybrid tight end and running back, with an emphasis on special-teams play.

That means that Tebow is effectively competing with Barkley for the No. 3 quarterback job. Based on their contracts and what Kelly has said, Bradford is the likely starter and Sanchez was re-signed this offseason as the No. 2 quarterback. If Bradford's rehabbing knee isn't ready in time for the season, Sanchez could start in his place.

Kelly has seemed less than enthusiastic about Barkley, seldom mentioning the 2013 fourth-round pick when talking about his quarterbacks. When the Eagles' season finale against the New York Giants was rendered meaningless after the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs, Kelly was asked if he would give Barkley a start. He said he wouldn't, that his only goal was to win the game.

That told you that Kelly didn't think Barkley could win a game, and that he had no pressing desire to see if Barkley had made any progress since his rookie year.

If the Eagles had drafted a quarterback in the later rounds, that player would have had the inside track on replacing Barkley as the No. 3 quarterback. Instead, Tebow is the primary competition.

"Allowing G.J. to move around a little bit means we need to get a fourth quarterback in here," Kelly said, "and we felt [Tebow] was the best guy available."

So Tebow was the only quarterback Kelly added to the Eagles' roster since trading Nick Foles for Bradford and re-signing Sanchez. With his added value as a possible short-yardage and two-point conversion weapon, Tebow seems like a better bet than Barkley to make the 53-man roster in September.