NFL roundup: Pats cut Tebow, put Wilson on IR

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The New England Patriots released quarterback Tim Tebow on Saturday, placed veteran safety Adrian Wilson on injured reserve and will keep tight end Rob Gronkowski on their 53-man roster, according to reports.

The Patriots also announced the release of offensive lineman Chris McDonald, linebacker Jeff Tarpinian, defensive back Stephon Morris, punter Zoltan Mesko and defensive tackles Jermaine Cunningham and Marcus Forston.

Tebow completed 11 of 30 passes for 145 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the preseason.

Tebow was competing for the Patriots' backup spot to Tom Brady, but did not provide a serious enough challenge to Ryan Mallett.

Tim took to Twitter shortly after his release to thank the Patriots for giving him a chance and to say he still believes he can play football in the NFL.

"I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback," Tebow wrote.

He also thanked team owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

"I would like to thank Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, Coach McDaniels and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a classy organization. I pray for nothing but the best for you all," he wrote.

In Thursday's preseason finale against the New York Giants, Tebow completed 6 of 11 passes for 91 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception.

Tebow, 25, signed with the Patriots in June, two months after being released by the New York Jets.

He played in 12 games for the Jets last season and completed 6 of 8 passes for 39 yards.

In 2011, Tebow had a 7-4 record in 11 regular-season starts for the Denver Broncos. He completed 46.5 percent of his passes and rushed for 660 yards.

The Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a first-round playoff game that season when Tebow threw a game-winning touchdown pass in overtime. Denver lost in the next round to New England 45-10, when Tebow completed just 9 of 26 passes and rushed for 13 yards.

Gronkowski is not expected to be ready for at least the first two games of the season, but will not be placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.

The team believes Gronkowski has made enough progress in recovering from forearm and back surgeries that he should be able to play within the six first weeks, according to

The Patriots open the season Sept. 8 against the Buffalo Bills and then play the New York Jets on Sept. 12.

If the team placed Gronkowski on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, he would not be eligible to practice or play for the first six weeks of the season.

The Patriots also have veteran Michael Hoomanawanui and rookie Zach Sudfeld at tight end.

A 12-year NFL veteran, Wilson signed with the Patriots as a free agent after spending his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals.

He was listed second at safety on the Pats' depth chart. He suffered a hamstring injury early in the preseason but managed to play through it in the final three preseason games.

By placing Wilson on IR, it buys the Patriots some time to make a decision on what to do with him, especially since he has a $1 million base salary that the team would be responsible for if he is activated. Other options include releasing him with or without an injury settlement, or shift him to the IR/Physically Unable to Perform list that would keep him sidelined for the first six weeks of the regular season.

Mesko lost the punter job to rookie Ryan Allen, the only player in NCAA history to win the Ray Guy Award twice. Mesko was due to make $1.323 million this season, which could have played a factor in the decision.

Cunningham was a second-round pick in the 2010 draft, but only recorded 3.5 sacks in three seasons.

---The Green Bay Packers released quarterback Vince Young on Saturday, reported.

The move is somewhat surprising as it leaves B.J. Coleman as the only other quarterback on the roster besides starter Aaron Rodgers. The team released Graham Harrell a week ago.

Young got plenty of playing and practice time in the preseason. In the exhibition finale, a 30-8 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, Young completed 14 of 30 passes for 144 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

"Thanks to the Packers for the opportunity. Great organization. Great team. Wonderful fans. Good luck this season," Young tweeted.

Young, 30, a former first-round draft pick and a two-time Pro Bowl participant, last played in the NFL in 2011 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was cut by the Buffalo Bills in training camp last August.

Young has played in 60 NFL games, including 50 starts.

Coleman completed just 2 of 7 passes for 19 yards with an interception on Thursday.

The Packers drafted Coleman in the seventh round in 2012.

---After two years of patience, the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday finally gave up on 2011 fourth-round pick Tandon Doss, giving the wide receiver his release, according to

Doss never quite lived up to the team's expectations. Last season, while he appeared in 18 games (including playoffs), he made just seven catches for 123 yards. He did not catch a pass this preseason.

The team reached the 53-man roster limit by also releasing safety Omar Brown, tight end Matt Furstenburg, defensive tackle Cody Larsen, guard Antoine McClain, running back Bobby Rainey, tackle J.J. Unga and tight end Billy Bajema.

---The Carolina Panthers reportedly released quarterback Jimmy Clausen and cornerback Drayton Florence on Saturday.

Clausen, who was due $630,000 this season, ends a three-year tenure with the Panthers, who drafted him in the second round in 2010. He threw for 1,558 yards with three touchdowns and nine interceptions in that span.

"Just want to thank the Panthers organization and the city of Charlotte for drafting me and making this home for me the last three years!" Clausen tweeted.

His future as a starter with Carolina ended in 2011 when the team made Cam Newton the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

Clausen lost the backup job to Derek Anderson.

Florence, 32, started three of the eight games he played in his only season with the Detroit Lions in 2012. He broke an arm in Week 2 at the San Francisco 49ers and returned in Week 11 for the Nov. 18 game against the Green Bay Packers.

Florence has 18 interceptions and 99 career starts since 2003, when he entered the league with the San Diego Chargers. He also has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.

---The San Diego Chargers on Saturday released wide receiver Robert Meacham, even though he is still owed $5 million in guaranteed base salary for 2013, according to USA Today.

A former first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2007, Meachem signed a $25.5 million contract with the Chargers prior to the 2012 season.

Meachem caught only 14 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns last season. He saw his playing time significantly reduced in the second half of the season and went the final six games without a reception.

---Veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield retired Saturday after the team reportedly was set to release or trade him.

The Seahawks also cut quarterback Brady Quinn, per his tweet, and reportedly let go defensive lineman Jaye Howard.

Winfield, 36, signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks in April, but younger players -- namely Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell -- emerged during the preseason.

Winfield, 36, played 14 NFL seasons. He was drafted in the first round of the 1999 draft by the Buffalo Bills. He has 27 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries and 7.5 sacks in his career.

Quinn, a former first-round pick, was beaten out by Tarvaris Jackson for the No. 2 QB spot behind Russell Wilson.

"Want to thank the Seahawks organization, coaches, teammates and especially the fans for a great offseason," Quinn tweeted. "It was such a blessing to be a part of such a special group! Thank you for the opportunity and best of luck this season! God bless!"

Brady, 28, was a first-round pick in 2007 by the Cleveland Browns, but never really lived up to expectations there or other stops with the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs.

Howard was a fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft. The 6-3, 301-pound Howard played just two games with Seattle and never really made the kind of impact that Seahawks coaches had hoped for.

---Veteran free safety Ed Reed was activated off the physically unable to perform list Saturday by the Houston Texans.

Reed, who ended a stellar career with the Baltimore Ravens at the end of last season, signed with Houston. He had been on the PUP list due to offseason hip surgery.

By being activated Saturday, Reed is eligible to start practicing with the team immediately and does not have to be placed on the six-week injured reserve list.

The Texans also released Keith Browner, Jake Byrne, Roc Carmichael, Tyler Clutts Cameron Collins, Andy Cruse, Tyler Horn, Delano Johnson, Dennis Johnson, Orhian Johnson, Chris Jones, Deji Karim, Alex Kupper, Elbert Mack, Nate Menkin, Mike Mohamed, EZ Nwachukwu, Jawanza Starling.

Three other players were placed on injured reserve: Alan Bonner (hamstring), Brennan Williams (knee) and Trevardo Williams.

The team also reached injury settlement releases with Daniel Muir, David Hunter, Mike Smith.

---The Cleveland Browns on Saturday released former Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson, according to

Nelson missed the entire 2012 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament. A bone bruise in training camp this year had limited his performance.

Nelson caught 61 passes for 658 yards and five touchdowns in 2011. PFT also reported that Nelson's contract with the Bills included just $25,000 in guaranteed money.

---Quarterback Greg McElroy was released Saturday by the New York Jets, according to, citing team and league sources.

That leaves Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith and Matt Simms as the team's quarterbacking corps. Recently signed Graham Harrell is also still on the roster, but he played just one snap in the final preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

McElroy was a seventh-round pick in 2011. He had been sidelined with injuries, primarily a sprained left knee, for the latter part of the preseason. That allowed Simms, an undrafted free agent from Tennessee and the son of former New York Giants QB Phil Simms, to vault over him on the depth chart.

McElroy was part of the Jets' convoluted quarterback circus last season, rallying the team for a win over Arizona, then starting for the benched Sanchez against San Diego, a game in which he was sacked 11 times and suffered a concussion.

The NFL fined Simms $7,875 for simulating a gun gesture during the Aug. 24 preseason game against the Giants, sources reported.

Simms made the gesture after throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ryan Spadola in the fourth quarter of the 24-21 overtime win. He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The league is cracking down on taunting, including making similar gestures. A league rule set in 2012 states: "These acts include but are not limited to: sack dances; home run swing; incredible hulk; spiking the ball; throwing or shoving the ball; pointing; pointing the ball; verbal taunting; military salute; standing over an opponent (prolonged and with provocation); or dancing."

---Tight end Heath Miller was activated from the physically unable to perform list by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, according to

Miller apparently passed his physical exam and is eligible to begin practicing. As a result, he likely will make the 53-man season-opening roster.

Miller missed most of last season after tearing his ACL. While he's not quite 100 percent, the Steelers likely activated him so they wouldn't have to move him to the six-week IR/physically unable to perform list to start the season.

The Steelers also released running back Jonathan Dwyer and punter Brian Moorman. Dwyer's release means injured running back Le'Veon Bell won't be an extended absence, and recent trade acquisition Felix Jones has impressed Steelers coaches, PFT reported.

The Steelers also waived several players, including running back Alvester Alexander; defensive linemen Alameda Ta'amu and Brian Arnfelt; linebackers Alan Baxter, Terence Garvin, Marshall McFadden and Brian Rolle; wide receivers Justin Brown, Reggie Dunn and Kashif Moore; offensive linemen Mike Golic (son of former NFL defensive lineman and current ESPN Radio personality Mike Golic Sr.), Chris Hubbard, Joe Long and Joe Madsen; tight ends Jamie McCoy and Nathan Overbay; and defensive backs Terry Hawthorne, Devin Smith, Ross Ventrone and Josh Victorian.

---The Cincinnati Bengals reached the NFL roster limit of 53 players on Saturday, according to

The Bengals placed linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (shoulder) on injured reserve, running back Bernard Scott (knee) on reserve-physically unable to perform and terminated the contract of offensive tackle Dennis Roland.

Two players who had been on the bubble made the team: backup quarterback Josh Johnson and linebacker Jayson Dimanche.

The Bengals had previously cut fullback John Conner, tight end-long snapper Bryce Davis, safety Tony Dye, offensive tackle Reid Fragel, wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, running back Daniel Herron, center T.J. Johnson, cornerbacks Chris Lewis-Harris and Onterio McCalebb, linebacker Dontay Moch, cornerback Shaun Prater, wide receiver Taveon Rogers, wide receiver Roy Roundtree, linebacker J.K. Schaffer, quarterback John Skelton, defensive tackle Terrence Stephens, guard John Sullen and linebacker Bruce Taylor.

---The Indianapolis Colts reached the NFL-mandated 53-man roster on Saturday after waiving 22 players, including linebacker Daniel Adongo, who was trying to make the switch from playing with the Southern Kings of Super 15 Rugby, the highest level of pro rugby in the world.

The team also placed three players on the waived-injured list: tackle Emmett Cleary, linebacker Shawn Loiseau and cornerback Daxton Swanson. If any of the three clear waivers, they will be placed on the Colts' injured reserve list.

Others released include safety Larry Asante, center Thomas Austin, cornerback Marshay Green, defensive end Lawrence Guy, quarterback Chandler Harnish, fullback Robert Hughes, tackle Ben Ijalana, tight end Dominique Jones, wide receiver Jeremy Kelley, linebacker Josh McNary, defensive tackle Drake Nevis, cornerback Sheldon Price, wide receiver Jabin Sambrano, wide receiver Lanear Sampson, linebacker Monte Simmons, tackle Bradley Sowell, defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu and tackle Lee Ziemba.

---Tight end Tony Moeaki tweeted Saturday that he had been released by the Kansas City Chiefs, according to

"Well Chiefs kingdom, it's been a pleasure. Best fans. Was starting to feel back to form. Bad timing for an injury. However, challenge accepted," Moeaki tweeted.

Moeaki, 26, was a third-round pick of the Chiefs in 2010 and caught 47 passes as a rookie. Things went downhill from there, though.

He suffered a torn ACL in the 2011 preseason, ending his year. He came back to catch 33 passes for 453 yards and a touchdown last season but suffered a fractured shoulder earlier this month, which sidelined him indefinitely.

---The Buffalo Bills on Saturday announced that they released five players, including defensive end Jamie Blatnick.

Also released were defensive end Izaan Cross, quarterback Thad Lewis, linebacker Bryan Scott and defensive tackle Torell Troup.

---With kicker Lawrence Tynes out indefinitely due to a MRSA staph infection (is on the non-football injured list), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed kicker Rian Lindell to replace Tynes on the roster, according to

Lindell had been previously cut by the Buffalo Bills but will likely take Tynes' spot, with backup Derek Dimke expected to be cut before the 53-man roster deadline is reached. Dimke missed both a field goal and extra point in the Bucs' last preseason game.

Lindell has made over 81 percent of his field goal attempts in a 13-year career with Seattle (three seasons) and the Bills (10 seasons), who the Bucs play on Dec. 8.

---Injuries will force Tennessee Titans wide receiver and return specialist Marc Mariani to sit out a second consecutive season, the team announced Saturday.

Mariani, who missed the 2012 season with a leg injury suffered in the preseason, will miss the 2013 season with a shoulder injury suffered in this year's preseason opener.

Mariani made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2010.
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