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Saturday, August 31, 2013
Updated: September 1, 5:22 PM ET
Patriots release Tim Tebow

ESPN.com news services

The New England Patriots released Tim Tebow on Saturday, a move that leaves the polarizing quarterback's future in doubt.

The Pats' decision to cut ties with Tebow before Saturday's 6 p.m. ET 53-man roster deadline was first reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Tebow, who signed with the Patriots in June, struggled to find consistency throughout the preseason, completing 11 of 30 passes for 145 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in three games.  He also ran 16 times for 91 yards.

Tebow took to Twitter to thank the Patriots.

I would like to thank Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, Coach McDaniels and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity...

— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) August 31, 2013

Tebow cleared waivers Sunday, making him a free agent. He has no doubt that he still wants to be an NFL quarterback.

"I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback," Tebow wrote on Twitter.

After sitting out the club's third preseason game, Tebow had his final chance to impress coach Bill Belichick on Thursday night against the New York Giants. He completed 6 of 11 passes for 91 yards with two TDs and one interception while also getting sacked four times.

"It's not just one game [that matters]," 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]."

Asked after Thursday's game if he was worried about sitting on the roster bubble, Tebow was his calm self.

"I'm blessed, because of my faith, that I don't have to worry about the future because I know who holds my future," Tebow told reporters. "It's something I try to live by. It really gives you a lot of peace in whatever circumstance I'm in."

The move by the Patriots will make for an uncertain future for Tebow, who failed to draw much interest this past offseason after he was released by the New York Jets.

Earlier this week, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he was "rooting for" Tebow to make the Patriots' 53-man roster, but said the decision was ultimately up to Belichick. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who drafted and coached Tebow in Denver, also was among those to praise Tebow for his work ethic.

Releasing Tebow should not come as a major surprise. The Patriots carried only two quarterbacks last season. Both of them -- Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett -- remain firmly entrenched at the top of the depth chart entering this season.

Tebow, who entered the NFL after a memorable college career that included two national championships at Florida, has completed 47.9 percent (173 of 361) of his passes for 2,422 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 989 yards and 12 scores in his pro career. His finest moment as a pro came with the Broncos during a 2012 wild-card game against the Steelers when he threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in overtime.

"I can't predict that,'' Broncos coach John Fox said when asked if Tebow would catch on with another team. "I just know I wish nothing but the best for him. As I've said many times, he did a lot of good things for us, was great for this organization, for this coaching staff, myself included, so I just wish him nothing but the best.'"

In other notable Patriots moves made before Saturday's roster deadline, the Patriots placed veteran safety Adrian Wilson on season-ending injured reserve and cut punter Zoltan Mesko. Wilson was signed during the offseason.

Information from ESPN.com's Mike Rodak, Jeff Legwold and The Associated Press was used in this report.