The New England Patriots released quarterback Tim Tebow as they made cuts to reach the 53-man roster limit for the regular season.

Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 pick of the Denver Broncos, had survived the Patriots' first wave of roster cuts after playing sparingly in the preseason.

NFL observers were not surprised by Tebow's release because the Patriots carried only two QBs - Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett - on the 53-man roster last season.

Tebow completed just 11 of 30 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason, with two interceptions, putting up numbers in limited playing time that came up short of helping him make the final roster.

The Patriots will activate tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has been recovering from surgery.

Tebow, who has less than four years of NFL experience, will have to clear waivers. He will become a free agent if no team claims him, opening the way for him to sign with any team.

Tebow's last action came against the New York Giants on Thursday, when he completed six of 11 passes for 91 yards, with two TDs and a pick, and was sacked four times.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's decision to release Tebow leaves the former University of Florida star with few options.

Tebow did not draw much interest from NFL teams after being released by the New York Jets following the 2012 season. EFE