Tim Tebow had everything going for him - a loyal fan following, Heisman trophy, and even a verb named after his bended knee prayer. One thing he is lacking is an NFL team that will keep him on the roster. 59% polled think his NFL career is now over.

Sportsnation Tim Tebow PollTim Tebow Poll "Is Tim Tebow's NFL career over?" courtesy of ESPN's Sportsnation
A Heisman Trophy, a riveting playoff game, an international following.
Tim Tebow won all that in his football career.

On Saturday, he lost his third NFL job in 18 months. It might be hard to find

The quarterback with two big problems - throwing the ball and reading
defenses - was cut by the New England Patriots less than 12 weeks after they
signed him and just five days before the season.

But, as Tebow sees it, this long journey is not over.

''I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of
being an NFL quarterback,'' he tweeted.

Coach Bill Belichick gave the player whose profile was higher than his
production what may have been his last chance when he signed him June 11, the
day the Patriots' three-day minicamp began. And Tebow is grateful.

He thanked Belichick, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and owner Robert
Kraft, who said last Tuesday he was ''rooting'' for Tebow but would let
Belichick make the decision.

In his tweet, Tebow thanked the ''entire Patriots organization for giving me
the opportunity to be a part of such a classy organization.''

The Patriots cut 12 other players and put safety Adrian Wilson on injured
reserve. That left them with 51 players, two below the regular-season limit they
had to reach by 6 p.m. EDT.

Belichick didn't comment on Tebow's release.

But NFL.com analyst and former NFL executive Gil Brandt wasn't surprised.

''He has had a great career and I think it's probably time for him to admit
that he just wasn't right up to NFL standards,'' Brandt said. ''I'm sure that
whatever he does in life he'll be a huge success.

Tebow was surely that at Florida, where he won the Heisman and two national
championships while surrounded by talented teammates.

He was a success with Denver, for one season, when he went 7-1 in his first
eight starts in 2011 then threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on
the first play of overtime to give the Broncos a 29-23 playoff win over the
Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tebow knelt on one knee - an expression of faith known as Tebowing - in the
end zone.

But then a career of accomplishment descended into adversity.

Tebow led the Broncos into Foxborough the next weekend and lost 45-10 while
completing barely a third of his passes.

He was traded to the New York Jets the following March and languished on the
bench while coach Rex Ryan ignored fans' calls for Tebow to replace a struggling
Mark Sanchez. Tebow threw just eight passes, ran only 32 times and was cut last
April 29.

For six weeks no team wanted him until the Patriots signed him to a low-risk,
two-year contract with no guaranteed money. One person with knowledge of the
deal told The Associated Press that Tebow would make the veteran's minimum
salary, $630,000 in 2013, with incentives.

At least he wouldn't be in the center ring of a media circus that surrounded
him in New York, not with Belichick's tight rein on players' interactions with

If anyone could turn him into a good NFL quarterback, it seemed, it would be
Belichick. And McDaniels was a booster of Tebow, drafting him in the first round
in 2010 as Denver's head coach. There even was speculation that Belichick might
find other positions for the mobile Tebow to play, but he worked out only with
the quarterbacks.

And his passes still bounced at receivers' feet and flew over their

''We see things like the pass that he threw in overtime to Thomas,'' Brandt
said. ''I think we see that every once in a while. It really gets us excited
about the guy.

''I don't know if he's ever going to be a quarterback, and the reasons that I
say that is that I think it's very, very hard with somebody that doesn't have
real good accuracy (and) I don't know if he has a real good feel for the

Now, barely two weeks after his 26th birthday, Tebow's NFL career may be

''I can't predict that,'' said John Fox, who took over as Denver's coach in
2011 and traded him after the season. ''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 to this
organization and to this coaching staff, myself included.''

The Patriots have carried just two quarterbacks in three of the past four
seasons. So with Ryan Mallett entrenched as the backup to Tom Brady, Tebow's
challenge was a difficult one, even before the preseason started. Then he posted
a quarterback rating of just 47.2 with two touchdown passes, two interceptions
and seven sacks in three exhibition games.

Tebow's last play with the Patriots, and perhaps in the NFL, was a 9-yard
touchdown to rookie free agent Quentin Sims with six seconds left in a 28-20 win
over the New York Giants on Thursday night.

With two scoring passes, it was the best of Tebow's three games during a
shaky preseason in which he completed 11 of 30 passes for 145 yards and ran 16
times for 91 yards.

''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

After his last game, Tebow said he wasn't sure it would be enough to keep him
on the team.

But he didn't plan to worry.

He would ''go to sleep when I get home, wake up, come work out, watch the
film,'' Tebow said. ''See what I did good, see what I did bad, try to learn from
it and get better.''

NOTES: The Patriots cut punter Zoltan Mesko after three solid seasons in
favor of rookie Ryan Allen. They released three other veterans - defensive
linemen Jermaine Cunningham and Justin Francis and linebacker Jeff Tarpinian.
Also cut were defensive lineman Marcus Forston, who spent last season on the
Patriots practice squad, and seven rookie free agents - Sims, linebacker
Ja'Gared Davis, defensive backs Kanorris Davis, Justin Green, and Stephon
Morris, offensive lineman Chris McDonald and running back George Winn.

HOWARD ULMAN (AP Sports Writer)