FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says Tim Tebow has been cut by the New England Patriots.
After being let go by his third team in 18 months — and with the regular season just five days away — the quarterback's chances of immediately catching on with another team seem slim. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Patriots had not announced the move. It was first reported by ESPN.
Tebow's stay with the Patriots lasted just under 12 weeks and could signal the end of his NFL career. The former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback played in just three of New England's four preseason games, and was sacked four times in the finale, a 28-20 win over the New York Giants on Thursday night.
The Patriots, in the Bill Belichick era, traditionally carry just two quarterbacks, and with Ryan Mallett entrenched as the backup to Tom Brady, Tebow's challenge was a difficult one, even before the preseason started. Then, he went out and posted a quarterback rating of just 47.2 and threw just two touchdown passes to go along with two interceptions.
When New England signed him, it appeared that Belichick might find other positions for the versatile, mobile Tebow to play, but he never worked out with any unit other than the quarterbacks with the Patriots.
After sitting out the Patriots' third preseason game, vs. Detroit, Tebow completed 6 of 11 passes for 91 yards vs. the Giants.
"It's not just one game (that matters)," coach Bill Belichick said Friday about the player 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)."
Tebow has played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets as well, after a memorable career at Florida, in which he was a part of two national-championship teams.