(CNN) - — Backup quarterback Tim Tebow was released by the New England Patriots Saturday, after failing to make the final roster for the new season, according to NFL.com.
NFL teams have until 6 p.m. ET Saturday to reduce their rosters to a maximum of 53 players, before the season kicks off Thursday.
Tebow, who was signed to the Patriots in June, made the final 75 earlier in the week but lost out in the final cut.
The former Heisman Trophy winner been praised and panned for being outspoken about his Christian faith, including taking a prayerful position at games that has led to an Internet photo craze known as "Tebowing."
Critics have said the 26-year-old doesn't throw well enough to be an NFL quarterback.
In three NFL seasons, Tebow, who was waived by the New York Jets in April, has played 35 games and completed 48% of his passes.
The 26-year-old previously played for the Denver Broncos, who drafted Tebow in the first round in 2010.