Celebrated Christian quarterback no longer wanted by NFL team

(Photo: Reuters / Adam Hunger)New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow walks on the sideline with his head down during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers in East Rutherford, New Jersey Dec. 23, 2012.

Tim Tebow may be unknown in much of the world.

However, in America just about anything that happens to the National Football League (NFL) quarterback is front page news.

The big news is that like a lot of other Americans, Tebow is unemployed.

His team, the New York Jets, released him Monday after one unproductive season.

Tebow burst onto the professional sports scene in the United States when he became the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos  in the middle of the season.

(Photo: Wikipedia)Tim Tebow kneels in prayer on the football field in a pose that has become known as "Tebowing". The American sports icon trademarked the phrase in 2012. Despite his celebrity status and previous heroic performances on the field, Tebow was released by his NFL team on Monday.

Despite a lack of   accuracy and form when he passed the football, Tebow was a winner.

During his time with Denver, Tebow led his team to several come-from behind victories.

He even took his team to the NFL playoffs, where he beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime.

The Steelers are one of the most successful franchises in the NFL, having won six championships, two of them recently.

Tebow became just as much a sensation outside the sports world as he was in it.  

He became a national celebrity in 2011 not only for his football heroics, but also due to his wholesome image and outspoken Christian faith.

Tebow was especially known for his on-field celebraton which became know as "Tebowing". After a big play, he would kneel on one knee in prayer, with his head resting on his fist. 

Since entering the NFL Tebow has regularly spoken at public events.  He speaks at such venues as churches, conferences, and prisons and shares his evangelical beliefs.

Tebow spoke to 20,ooo people at an Easter service in2012.

In March he spoke at the convocation of Liberty University in Virginia. The school is one of the largest evangelical universities in the world. 

In addition to his evangelistic efforts, Tebow is also involved in charity work  He has a charitable foundation and supports evangelists all over the world. 

Controversy erupted in February when Tebow cancelled an appearance at First Baptist Church of Dallas, a large megachurch, after he was criticized for his plans to speak there. 

The church's pastor is Robert Jefferies, a strong opponent of same-sex marriage.

 Tebow changed his mind about speaking at the  Southern Baptist church, telling Jefferies that he had to avoid controversy for "personal and professional reasons", according to the Christian Post. 

Tebow was traded to the Jets in 2012 after the Broncos signed quarterback Peyton Manning, a certain Hall of Fame selection.

 His arrival in New York created a stir in the media-driven city.

However, Tebow  hardly set foot on the field last season.

The Jets were criticized for their use of Tebow and some have said his acquisition was just a media stunt.

Although his fame rocketed when he gained success in the NFL, Tebow is no stranger to being a celebrity.  He won the top award given to college football players, the Heisman Trophy, at the University of Florida.

Even then he was known for his faith.

Tebow's display of Bible verses on his eye black, a subtance placed under the eyes  to deflect the effects of sunlight,  led to a rule against it.

Before he entered college, Tebow was featured on a documentary on the ESPN sports channel. It discussed his fame as a high school football star despite his status as a home schooler.

The show also featured  his missionary work in the Phillipines. Tebow was born there to missionary parents. 

Tebow has not spoken to the media about his release by the Jets.

However, he did tweet a biblical passage from Proverbs which says:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths."

Sports Illustrated is currently speculating about where Tebow will land next. It mentioned several potential teams which might want his services, but also noted that he could end up on the lecture circuit. 

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