Patriots release Gators QB Tim Tebow; others cut

By Adam Silverstein
August 31, 2013

For the third time in an NFL career that has spanned as many full seasons, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been dismissed by the franchise to which he was under contract as the New England Patriots decided to release the former Heisman Trophy winner on Saturday as they were forced to cut 22 players in order to whittle their roster down to 53 players ahead of the 2013 season.

ESPN‘s Adam Schefter first reported Tebow’s release via Twitter.

It took one month after being waived by the New York Jets for Tebow to be signed by New England, the team that always seemed like the best fit for his unique talents.

The Patriots acquired Tebow as a quarterback and waived Mike Kafka in order to bring him into the fold. In joining New England, he reunited with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who selected him with the No. 25 overall pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft while serving as head coach of the Denver Broncos.

But McDaniels’s desire to give him an opportunity and owner Robert Kraft’s affection for him as a person were simply not enough to keep Tebow on the 53-man roster.

In 2011, during his second year with the Broncos, Tebow was a mid-season replacement at starting quarterback and set the league on fire by leading his team to numerous come-from-behind victories and seven wins in eight games from Weeks 7-14. He also threw a game-winning overtime touchdown against Pittsburgh in the Wild Card round of the 2012 NFL Playoffs, going went 10-of-21 for 316 yards with two passing touchdowns while carrying the ball 10 times for 50 yards and a rushing score.

Denver traded Tebow to New York after acquiring quarterback Peyton Manning, and the Jets struggled to get him on the field. Tebow barely contributed in New York last season, seeing the field in just 12 games and rarely on offense. He completed 6-of-8 passes for 39 yards and took 32 carries for 102 yards, never once finding the end zone.

Tebow played in three of the Patriots’ four 2013 preseason games, combining to go 11-for-30 for 145 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also carried the ball 16 times for 91 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per rush. His best performed occurred in his final appearance on Thursday; he went 6-for-11, throwing the two touchdowns and one interception while picking up 30 yards on six carries.

Whether Tebow has played his final NFL game is pure speculation at this point, though if he was unable to latch on with New England as a gadget player and developmental third-string quarterback, his options of continuing his career on football’s biggest stage appear to be dwindling even further.

The Patriots also released former Gators defensive end Jermaine Cunningham on Saturday, and former Florida wide receiver David Nelson was cut by the Cleveland Browns earlier in the day, making him the third member of the 2008 national championship team to be waived on Saturday.

Other Gators cut by NFL teams over the last few days include offensive tackles Max Starks (San Diego Chargers) and Xavier Nixon (Washington Redskins), wide receivers Frankie Hammond, Jr. (Kansas City Chiefs) and Omarius Hines (Green Bay Packers), punter Chas Henry (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and defensive linemen Jaye Howard (Seattle Seahawks) and Earl Okine (Houston Texans).

Photo Credit: Associated Press


  1. Michael Jones says:

    I’m one of the biggest Tim Tebow supporters ever, but even I had to admit to seeing some glaring flaws in his game this preseason. That being said, I hope that Tim will finally go to Arena Football (he probably can’t even start for a CFL team yet) and find a team that will let him get on the field. He needs to learn to read defenses, make decisions a lot more quickly, get the ball out in time, anticipate an open receiver vs. throwing the ball to a guy who is wide open. . and mainly, he needs to play A LOT.

    I’m still not willing to give up on him as a pro. I think Fox and Ryan did a ton of damage to Tim’s psyche. He needs to get his confidence back. And the only way to do that is to get on the field and try to work his way back into the NFL. If Warner and Flutie could humble themselves to do what needed to be done to improve their games, Tim should be able to as well.

  2. Tractorr says:

    I still don’t think that Tebow was done any favors by “not messing with his throwing motion” his senior year. They anyone who knew our team knew we weren’t going to have a shot in 2009 and it would have been a great time to start transforming Tebow into a better passer against lesser competition. How was he ever going to develop with new passing mechanics at the highest level? He could have been great in the NFL but now he will forever be remembered for his college greatness.

    • Actually, I think they messed too much with his throwing motion in the NFL. Should’ve left him alone. May never have been a first-stringer, but he could’ve had a career. He was told too many things by too many different coaches and it affected him mentally.

      • Tractorr says:

        That is probably true as well, but I think they could have made small adjustments and let him get used to them against college secondaries. Look at how lost he looked against Alabama in the SEC championship game. They sat back in a zone most of the game and dared him to find the holes which he couldn’t because he throws without touch.

        If he wants to continue playing football I am certain a team in Canada could use him. Who knows maybe in a two or three years he makes it back.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      It’s not their job to prepare him for the NFL, it is their job to win games. They did what they felt was best to win the games.

  3. JS says:

    I just hope that Tebow can eventually join the Gators coaching staff as a grad assistant… I really hope he doesn’t join Urban at OSU.

    • Tractorr says:

      I wouldn’t mind him going to OSU. What is the selling point in that? We here at OSU offer the chance to be written off in the NFL and never get a chance even though you may win a playoff game.

  4. James D. Wiggins says:

    Tim Tebow was one of the greatest college football players to come along in years. He motivated and inspired his teammates to perform at their highest level. He was recruited by any and all D-1 teams that thought they might have a chance at him. Perhaps he could have been coached better in college to be more NFL like. But who wanted to mess with a prize like Tebow that proved himself over and over. Urban Meyer didn’t and Tebow was one of the main reasons the Gators won two National Championships. It is my opinion that the re manufacturing of a natural talent was the root cause of Tim Failing in the NFL. He spent more time on his throwing motion than the did on learning how to read defenses. They should have left Tim Tebow alone. He might have changed the game in a sense and altered the views of what a typical prototype QB should be. I hope he isn’t through with pro ball yet.

  5. Tim Nugent says:

    Tim Tebow has been a winner wherever he played since junior high school. He is growing and getting better each day. He can run the ball with confidence and his lifestyle is infectious to his teammates. He is a class act and would make a good tight end now and excellent back-up quarterback. Other NFL coaches will not pass on him.
    I personally hope he goes to a Florida team where I can see him play again. God Bless you Tim.

  6. Ken (CA) says:

    I feel bad for Tebow. I was rooting for him to succeed, but by all accounts he looked horrible in camp and games for the Pats. At least someone gave him a fair chance to succeed, even if it was after too much screwing with all his mechanics and his mentality.

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