(CNN) -- Backup quarterback Tim Tebow was released by the New England Patriots on Saturday after failing to make the final roster for the new season.
Tebow, who was signed to the Patriots in June, made the final 75 earlier in the week but lost out in the final cut.
NFL teams had until 6 p.m. ET Saturday to reduce their rosters to a maximum of 53 players before the season kicks off Thursday.
The former Heisman Trophy winner has 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.
In a series of statements on Twitter, Tebow quoted a Bible verse and thanked the Patriots' president and coaches "for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a classy organization.
"I pray for nothing but the best for you all. I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback," he wrote.
In addition to Tebow, the Patriots said Saturday that they released 12 other players and placed veteran safety Adrian Wilson on injured reserve.