SAN JOSE, CALIF. >> Evan Mathis got released by the Eagles because Chip Kelly didn't want to give the two-time Pro Bowl guard a raise. Kurt Coleman got dumped by Kelly a year earlier.
Things turned out super for both guys.
Mathis is blocking for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Coleman led Carolina with seven interceptions and picked two more passes in the NFC championship game.
As for Kelly, he landed in San Francisco too — after the Eagles fired him and he became the 49ers new coach.
"This is the ultimate dream for a football player to be able to play in the Super Bowl," Mathis said. "It's much more valuable (than money)."
Coleman was a seventh-round pick who started 27 games for the Eagles before Kelly arrived in 2013 and made him a backup. The safety played for Kansas City in 2014 and rejuvenated his career with the Panthers.
"I was a guy that was not as fast or may not have been as tall or strong or whatever it may be," Coleman said. "If you believe it in your heart, you can achieve it."
Both Super Bowl teams have rejects from other clubs playing prominent roles for them. Finding players on the waiver wire has helped the Panthers overcome injuries.
"We watch film and we work at it," Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman said. "Mark Koncz, our pro scouting director, does a terrific job. He's very thorough and a big part of it is finding guys that fit what we do."
Here are more castoffs who will be playing in the Super Bowl:
TED GINN JR.: A top-10 pick by Miami in 2007, Ginn never lived up to his potential. The wide receiver also played three seasons for San Francisco, spent 2013 with Carolina and was released by Arizona after one year. Ginn returned to the Panthers and led the team with 10 touchdown receptions.
ROBERT MCCLAIN: The Patriots cut the cornerback in training camp and he didn't play all season until Carolina signed him in December. He's now a starter because of injuries to other players.
SHILOH KEO: He was unemployed when he tweeted Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips asking for a chance. Denver signed him after a rash of injuries to their safeties and he intercepted the pass that led to the game-winning drive in Week 17. The Broncos would've been a sixth seed if they lost that game.
MICHAEL OHER: He was cut by Tennessee one year into a $20-million, four-year contract. Cam Newton reached out to him so he signed with the Panthers and the left tackle had a solid season protecting the quarterback's blind side.
JARED ALLEN: The Bears traded the four-time All-Pro defensive end to Carolina in October and he ended up starting 12 games.
CORTLAND FINNEGAN: Carolina signed the defensive back off the retired list in late November and he played the final five games. Finnegan intercepted a pass in a 31-24 playoff win over Seattle.