Examining Tim Tebow's NFL Future Following Reported Release from Patriots

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 29: Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the preseason game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on August 29, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Tim Tebow experiment in New England is over, and with it Tebowmania's livelihood in the NFL may be nearing its conclusion as well.

The most polarizing figure in sports, Tebow's contract was terminated on Saturday by the Patriots as the team reduces its number of active players to 53 in order to meet the NFL's deadline, per ESPN's Adam Schefeter:

New England had no need for Tebow, but give head coach Bill Belichick credit for the attempt. The Patriots will keep two quarterbacks on the final roster. Tebow's 47.2 rating, seven sacks and 39 percent completion rate did not convince the staff to keep him around.

It's the latest in a line of disappointments in Tebow's NFL career that began back in 2010 with the Denver Broncos after he won two national championships and a Heisman trophy with the Florida Gators.

Tebow famously led the Broncos to a playoff win in 2011 before the organization shipped him to New York last year. His career came to a screeching halt with the Jets—he was only allowed to attempt eight passes.

If his tenure in New York was a sudden stop, the release by the Patriots may be the end of the line.

The statistics and film Tebow put together this preseason during what was likely his final chance were not encouraging. It's hard to imagine any team would want to take on the developmental project, not to mention the endless media attention that comes with Tebow.

At the end of the day, NFL teams will have a hard time cutting a promising player at another position to make room for a quarterback who has never completed more than 50 percent of his passes in meaningful playing time and has shown very little in the way of progression.

There's no room for Tebow in the NFL, especially at quarterback, where teams traditionally keep two players. The second on the depth chart has to be able to enter the game and win should the starter go down. Tebow simply cannot do that without forcing the coaching staff to alter the playbook to his needs.

Tebow is also ineligible for the practice squad because he has been active in too many games, as confirmed by former agent Joel Corry. So don't expect to see Tebow sneak onto one to extend his NFL career:

There is something to be said for the fact that Tebow proved he can keep a low profile with the proper organization. But his lack of production, paired with the minimal interest he received before signing up with New England, goes to show the well for Tebow is dry.

Tebowmania was a fun ride in the NFL. As Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald points out, Tebow's likely final highlight play came in the form of a preseason touchdown pass to Quentin Sims:

In the end, Tebow's NFL career started and likely ended with one man—Josh McDaniels. Tebow was McDainel's selection as the No. 25 overall pick in 2010 when McDaniels was head coach of the Broncos.

McDaniels and Belichick were willing to extend the proverbial olive branch and give Tebow one last chance this preseason to show something, anything at all, that hinted toward his value at the NFL level.

This preseason, Tebow failed to impress the first and perhaps the last man in the NFL who believed in him.

Tebow's time in the NFL appears to have run out.



Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling