Tim Tebow is done with the New England Patriots. The next question is whether his NFL career is over, too.
A person familiar with move confirmed the Patriots waived Tebow on Saturday morning. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team had yet to announce its cuts.
ESPN first reported the news.
ANOTHER QB CUT: Packers dump Vince Young
CUT ROUNDUP: QB Claussen released by Panthers
Tebow was this final cut-down day’s biggest storyline because he was the league’s most popular player just two seasons ago inspiring a cult of Tebowmaniacs.
That was back in 2011 when Tebow came off the bench following a 1-4 Denver Broncos start to lead them on a string of late-game wins capped by his improbable wild-card playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ironically, Tebow’s career came full circle when he signed in June with the Patriots, the team that crushed that magical Tebow-led Broncos playoff run in a divisional-round rout.
The 26-year-old Tebow signed a two-year contract that included no guarantees. In three preseason appearances, he was 11-of-30 passing for 145 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Patriots have carried only two quarterbacks in recent years, and they already have Ryan Mallett backing up Tom Brady.
In a series of tweets sent Saturday afternoon, Tebow thanked New England owner Robert Kraft, Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for “giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a classy organization. I pray for nothing but the best for you all. I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback.”***
The only question now is whether coach Bill Belichick still could have an interest in bringing Tebow back on his 53-man roster at some point, if he believes Tebow can help him win a game or two as a potential read-option situational package wrinkle. There is also the possibility Tebow could help Belichick’s defense prepare for facing a read-option attack by running the scout team offense that week.
“It’s not just one game (that matters),” Belichick said Friday when asked about Tebow’s TD passes in the final preseason game, “although every game is important. But the body of work, the camp, the rate of improvement, the ability to do the things that players are going to be asked to do at their respective positions (also matter).”
First, it remains to be seen if Tebow will be claimed by another team.
Tebow is subject to waivers and has a minimum base salary of $630,000 if a team is interested. But the past 18 months haven’t done anything to help this stock.
The Denver Broncos traded Tebow, whom they drafted 25th overall in 2010 out of Florida under a prior regime, to the New York Jets in March 2012.
He threw only eight passes in a forgettable season with the Jets, then was cut April 30 and ended up signing with the Patriots, who loaded Tebow’s contract with second-year incentives.
Unless another team claims the contract, Tebow won’t get a chance to earn them.
Courtesy of USA Today