FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 29: Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the New York Giants in the second half during the preseason game at Gillette Stadium on August 29, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Tim Tebow may no longer be a member of the New England Patriots, but it's not because owner Robert Kraft didn't want him. Nope, it was a numbers game and Tebow just happened to be on the wrong side of the ledger.
"I love Tim Tebow and I very much wanted him on the team," Kraft said during an appearance Tuesday on CBS' This Morning. "If you look, four of the last five years we've only carried two quarterbacks and you know when a cut-down time comes, you need those last three, four positions for depth. … "And we happen to have, I think, the finest quarterback in the history of the game, so he's not going off the field except by injury," Kraft said, referring to future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. "We have a great second string quarterback [in Ryan Mallett]."
By most accounts, Tebow has reached the end of his NFL career. After stints in Denver, New York and now New England, he hasn't shown the improvement necessary to be a conventional quarterback, but Kraft wouldn't rule out the possibility that Tebow could again find himself on the Pats' roster.
"We never know what's going to happen," he said. "You're one play away at all times from your whole game changing, and there's no -- I haven't met a finer young man."
Kraft's comments come weeks after he said this of Tebow: “Anyone who's met him, he's a very special young man. I'm rooting for him. I'm in his corner. I have the privilege of letting coach Bill (Belichick) make that decision. He's got a pretty good record doing that.”
And Belichick, who decided that the Pats would carry just two quarterbacks for the fifth straight year, was also impressed by Tebow.
“He's great to work with, outstanding,” Belichick said during the preseason. “Smart, works hard; football is important to him.”
Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough for Tebow to warrant a roster spot. For now, anyway.