After a restless night, hundreds of NFL players nervously checked their cellphones Saturday morning, cringing every time it buzzed.
Tim Tebow was among those who got the dreaded call telling him to come see the coach and bring in his playbook.
Teams had to whittle their rosters to the 53-man maximum Saturday, and although his release wasn’t a big surprise, Tebow was by far the biggest name among the notable cuts.
I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback, an undaunted Tebow tweeted.
After being let go by his third team in 18 months – and with the season just five days away – the quarterback’s chances of immediately catching on with another team seem slim.
Several other veteran QBs also found themselves looking for work on this Labor Day weekend as the Giants released longtime backup David Carr, the Packers cut Vince Young and the Bills chopped Matt Leinart.
Other noteworthy cuts included:
Eagles right guard Danny Watkins
49ers long snapper Brian Jennings
49ers receiver Austin Collie, a former Colt
Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen, a former Irish star.
Saints safety Jim Leonhard
Browns kicker Shayne Graham
Chargers receiver Robert Meachem
Teams can also fill their eight-man practice squads today.
This could be it for Tebow, the popular but polarizing player who has provided both his supporters and detractors with plenty of fodder during his 35-game NFL career that includes a 47.9 completion percentage, 17 touchdown throws, nine interceptions, a dozen TD runs and 15 fumbles.
Jettisoned by the Jets last winter, Tebow signed June 11 with New England, where the man who drafted him in Denver, Josh McDaniels, is the offensive coordinator. His three-month stay with the Patriots was decidedly lower key than his stints with the Broncos, whom he led to the playoffs in 2011, and Jets, but he still had trouble throwing the ball, posting a passer rating of just 47.2.
Tebow’s last play with the Patriots, and perhaps in the NFL, was a 9-yard touchdown toss Thursday night to rookie free agent Quentin Sims with six seconds left against the Giants.
Now Tebow is out of work again and maybe out of chances.
I can’t predict that, Broncos coach John Fox said. I wish nothing but the best for him, as I’ve said many times.