Tim Tebow's Release from New England Patriots Will Be Last Hurrah in NFL

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JUNE 11: Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots practices during minicamp at Gillette Stadium on June 11, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The past couple years have been a roller-coaster ride for Tim Tebow,

as he has played for three different NFL teams and sparked debate across the country. Based on the way things went for him during the preseason, though, it's difficult to imagine Tebow being given another chance at this point.

Tebow was considered to be on the bubble for the New England Patriots when cut day commenced on Aug. 31, but he simply didn't do enough with the opportunities he was given as the Pats ultimately decided to release him, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

It wasn't exactly a shocking revelation as Ryan Mallett had clearly separated himself from Tebow in the competition to be Tom Brady's backup. The Pats only carried two quarterbacks on their roster as well last year, so the odds were stacked against Tebow.

After throwing for 54 yards and an interception in his first two preseason games, Tebow did display some of his trademark magic in New England's preseason finale as he threw for 91 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while rushing for 30 yards as well. The last-ditch effort simply wasn't enough to prevent the inevitable, however.

The phrase "beggars can't be choosers" would seem to apply to Tebow's situation right now, but if his tweets following his release from the Pats are any indication, he fully intends to continue exploring his options at the NFL level.

Unfortunately for Tebow, there may not be any options left. It's hard to believe that he has fallen so far in such a short period of time, as he was the toast of the NFL less than two years ago. Tebow helped lead the Denver Broncos to an AFC West title and a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 season, but that proved to be his last shining moment.

The Broncos' organization decided to go in a different direction by signing Peyton Manning, which has obviously worked out very well so far. That resulted in Tebow being traded to the New York Jets. Rather than usurping Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback job, though, Tebow was made into a joke by head coach Rex Ryan as he served in roles such as wildcat quarterback, fullback, tight end and even personal punt protector.

It was an awful ordeal for Tebow on his fans because his utilization couldn't have been any worse. Tebow had a ton of momentum on his side heading into the 2012 season, but it all went by the wayside once the Jets wasted and released him.

There was reason for optimism when New England signed him initially, as head coach Bill Belichick has always been complimentary of Tebow. The Patriots had to worry about depth at other positions, though, so there simply wasn't enough room to keep a luxury player like Tebow.

The big question now relates to which team might have some interest in him. There was buzz regarding the Buffalo Bills possibly taking a look as Kevin Kolb is on injured reserve with a concussion, and the only active quarterbacks on the roster are rookie first-round pick EJ Manuel, who is working through a knee ailment, and undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel.

Despite the Bills being very thin under center, the organization has "zero interest" in the embattled quarterback, according to Rotoworld.com.

That was confirmed by the fact that Tebow passed through waivers and officially became a free agent, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

It's official: Tim Tebow is a free agent. Unclaimed on waivers.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 1, 2013

If no NFL teams come calling, then Tebow certainly has a few potential avenues to consider. Retirement is one of them, but it's hard to imagine someone who loves the game as much as Tebow stepping away at the age of 26. With that in mind, playing in another league in hopes of sparking NFL interest in the future isn't the worst idea.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the CFL's Montreal Alouettes own Tebow's rights, although La Canfora doesn't anticipate Tebow taking that route.

At least one person who knows a little something about Tebow's quarterbacking skills believes that the CFL would be a good idea, though. According to Sports Illustrated, Tebow's former quarterback coach, Steve Clarkson, thinks that the CFL is something Tebow should consider.

It obviously isn't an ideal situation as Tebow is a former first-round pick in the NFL, but it is a route that has worked for some quarterbacks in the past. Warren Moon, Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia are all quarterbacks who parlayed CFL success into fantastic NFL careers. Perhaps Tebow can add his name to that impressive list.

It's definitely a long shot at this point, but it may be his only hope. If Tebow continues to sit at home in hopes that an NFL team will come calling, he'll be waiting for a very long time. It seems like every team remembers Tebow's trials and tribulations with the Jets and Patriots rather than his successful 2011 campaign, so Tebow can no longer live off the past.

If he tries to do that, then it's likely that we have seen the last of Tebow at the NFL level.


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