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Patriots cut Tim Tebow

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Will Ryan Mallett and Tom Brady still be Tim Tebow's teammates after Saturday?. (USATSI)
And then there were two: The Patriots have released Tim Tebow. (USATSI)

The Tim Tebow experiment lasted less than three months in New England. On Saturday, the Patriots released him.

"I would like to thank Mr. [Robert] Kraft, Coach [Bill] Belichick, Coach [Josh] McDaniels and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a classy organization," Tebow said via Twitter. "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."

Tebow, originally the Broncos' 2010 first-round pick, led Denver to the AFC West title in 2011, as well as a wild-card playoff victory over the Steelers. But the wheels came off in 2012, after the Broncos traded Tebow to the Jets. New York parted ways with Tebow earlier this offseason and the Pats signed him this summer, two weeks before Aaron Hernandez was arrested on first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Odin Lloyd.

But many same issues that have plagued Tebow throughout his career -- namely, accuracy and deciphering defenses -- continued to be a problem in New England. In the first two preseason games, Tebow completed 5-of-19 passes for 54 yards (this includes a -1 yard performance against the Buccaneers), no touchdowns, an interception and three sacks. In the Patriots' final preseason game, Tebow showed improvement -- including two touchdown passes -- but clearly it wasn't enough. Nowhere else in the league was there so much curiousity about a backup quarterback completing 26 percent of his passes.

On Thursday, Tebow sounded unconcerned about his NFL fate.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time and be able to enjoy playing this game tonight and come in here ready to work out [Friday]," he said.

More proof that the NFL is a business: Tebow was well-liked by both owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick.

“Anyone who's met him, he's a very special young man,” Patriots owner Bob Kraft earlier this month. "I'm rooting for him. I'm in his corner. I have the privilege of letting Bill (Belichick) make that decision. He's got a pretty good record doing that.”

“He's great to work with, outstanding,” Belichick said via the Boston Herald. “Smart, works hard; football is important to him.”

Still, it wasn't enough to win a roster spot. And now Tebow joins some 700 other players suddenly out of work, and the Patriots will enter the season with just two quarterbacks -- Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett -- for the fifth consecutive year.

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