Tim Tebow and Devon Still, two players popular with fans for their lives off the field, were released Saturday as the 32 NFL teams trimmed their rosters to 53 players.
Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, was cut by the Eagles after trying to make the team as a third-string quarterback.
Eagles Coach Chip Kelly said Tebow had a good preseason game Thursday against the Jets, but the coaches looked at the totality of his time with the team.
“We just felt like Tim had really progressed but we didn’t feel like he was good enough to be the (third quarterback) right now,” Kelly said.
On Twitter, Tebow thanked the coach for the opportunity to make the roster.
Tebow hasn’t been on an NFL regular season roster since 2012 when he played sparingly in 12 games for the New York Jets.
He has been the most famous backup quarterback in the league when he has played. After a great collegiate career in which he led the Florida Gators to two national titles and won the Heisman as the best player in college football, Tebow sputtered through three NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos and Jets.
Critics saw him as a media darling who despite flaws in his game was constantly on TV because of his good guy, Christian persona.
It appeared Friday as if he might make the roster after the Eagles traded Matt Barkley, his competition for the third spot.
Tebow could return to television broadcasting. He has recently worked as a correspondent for “Good Morning America” and as a college football analyst for the SEC Network.
‘Time to move forward,’ Still says
Still and his 5-year-old, cancer-fighting daughter, Leah, have been a national feel-good story for football fans and others following her treatment for neuroblastoma.
Still, a defensive tackle, also was put on waivers before last season, but the Bengals offered him a practice squad spot so that he could keep his medical benefits.
He made the 53-man roster later in the year.
“Have nothing but love for the Bengals organization and the city of Cincinnati. Both helped me through one of the darkest times of my life and I am forever grateful,” he said on social media. “It’s time to move forward and see what’s next.”
Leah and Devon Still won an ESPY — the Jimmy V Perseverance Award — in July but she was unable to attend the ceremony.
Her cancer is in remission. CNN affiliate WLWT reported that Leah gets treatments to strengthen her immune system, but her prognosis is good. The station also said Devon Still, a former second round pick, is eligible for health insurance for five more years through the NFL.