The Philadelphia Eagles have Sam Bradford as the starter for Chip Kelly heading into the 2015 season and with Mark Sanchez signed to be the main backup, Tim Tebow and Matt Barkley are battling this offseason to be the third stringer and how they perform in OTAs and training camp likely will dictate how things go and if Barkley loses out, his trade or release could be an option.
The Eagles brought in Bradford in a trade for Nick Foles and signed back Sanchez as a free agent after he started for half the season last year. Chip Kelly was satisfied with the way Sanchez played and the team is comfortable with him as the number two behind Bradford, who has had serious knee injury issues in the past. According to Pro Football Talk, Barkley and Tebow are battling for a roster spot as the third string quarterback and there is a good chance the player that loses will be off the main roster.
Kelly could release whoever loses the battle or a practice squad spot could be opened up, but it's more likely that a cut will be in order. Tebow signed after working out for the team this offseason and he said that he was "blessed" to have the opportunity with the Eagles. Kelly likes to maximize value on the roster and with Barkley throwing just one pass last season despite Nick Foles being injured, he has something to prove in camp.
While Tebow is not a conventional quarterback, he could be used in certain offensive sets and situations, including on two point conversions or short-yardage plays. Barkley may be a better conventional QB than Tebow, but he doesn't give any added value in those situations and with Sanchez as the main backup, Kelly may want to have Tebow in his back pocket. The Eagles are in OTA workouts ahead of minicamp and Barkley spoke with NJ.com about the quarterback situation., saying Tebow "is not taking (his) reps on the field" and that he is "an arm" in camp for the team.
Barkley could be deflecting a bit about the possibility of Tebow taking his spot on the roster, but he will get the chance to compete for the job. Barkley reportedly was on the trade block this offseason and the Dolphins were interested, but instead signed Josh Freeman to a deal. Barkley said that quarterback GJ Kinne would be converting to receiver, leaving Barkley and Tebow to compete for the third string job.
The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News reported that Barkley was a "Chip Kelly pick" despite Howie Roseman running personnel at the time and that could give Barkley a slight edge coming in. Kelly has been unafraid of making bold moves this offseason in trading Foles and LeSean McCoy for Bradford and Kiko Alonso and clearly he feels comfortable with Tebow getting a chance to make the team. The Eagles missed the playoffs last year and Sanchez stepped up while Foles was out for half the year with a shoulder injury.