UPDATE: In a series of tweets this afternoon, Tim Tebow reacted to the news of being cut by the New England Patriots:
“I would like to thank Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, Coach McDaniels and the entire Patriots organization 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. 2 Corinthians 12:9: And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
Since Tebow has been in the league for less than four years, he is subject to the NFL’s waiver system. Should he clears waivers, he would become a free agent and able to sign with any team.
OUR EARLIER REPORT (1:34 p.m.): According to several media reports, Tim Tebow will not be on the New England Patriots’ regular-season roster when they take the field against the Bills in Buffalo next Sunday.
ESPN first reported Tebow being cut, citing a league source who spoke on the condition of anonymity Saturday because the Patriots had not officially announced the move.
Tebow played in only three of New England’s four preseason games, including Thursday night’s game against the New York Giants. The Patriots won 28-20, with Tebow completing six of 11 passes for 91 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed six times for 30 yards and was sacked four times by the Giants defense.
“It’s not just one game [that matters],” New England head coach Bill Belichick said Friday about his evaluation process, “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 matters].”
In three of the past seasons, the Patriots have carried only two quarterbacks on their regular-season roster. With superstar quarterback Tom Brady and reliable back-up Ryan Mallett ahead of him, Tebow already faced an uphill battle to make the team, but his lackluster preseason performance made Bellichick’s decision to cut him easier. Tebow completed just 11 of 30 passes for 145 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also picked up 91 yards rushing on 16 carries and was sacked seven times.
When training camp began for the Patriots, it appeared Belichick might try the versatile and mobile Tebow at another position, including tight end, but the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback only worked out and played the QB position for New England, his third NFL team in 18 months.
To get down to the mandatory regular-season limit of 53 players, the Patriots had to reduce their roster by 12 before 6 p.m. EDT today. The team did not announce any trades.