Drew Stanton, Arizona Cardinals
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Stanton Re-Signed with Cardinals for Chance to Start

The Arizona Cardinals may be a team with immediate Super Bowl aspirations, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking towards the future. Should all go according to plan, veteran quarterback Carson Palmer will ride off into the sunset with Lombardi trophy in tow. But when and if that happens, the Cardinals will start afresh at the league’s most important position, and current backup Drew Stanton expects to contend for the job.

“I’ve had at-length discussions with everybody in the franchise [about the idea] that there’s a chance for me to be able to start when [Palmer’s] done,” Stanton told SiriusXM NFL Radio over the weekend. “Going to a less advantageous situation is something that I was not going to just chase money for. Money wasn’t going to be my most motivating factor in this entire thing.”

Stanton got a serious taste of first-string football back in 2014. As Palmer struggled with injuries all season in a campaign that seemed all but lost, Stanton helped right the ship for the championship hopefuls. He started 8 games for a 5-3 record, throwing only 7 touchdowns, but turning the ball over at a rate less than once per game.

Unfortunately for the stoic Cardinals, both Palmer and Stanton would be sidelined for good come playoff time. Forced to start Ryan Lindley against the then-abysmal 7-8-1 Panthers in the wild card round, the Cards season grinded to a miserable halt with an historically bad offensive display in Carolina.

A perennial backup for much of his eight-year career, Stanton has held the clipboard behind some good, bad, and downright ugly quarterbacks, but has perhaps never found himself in quite a position to succeed as he does in Arizona.

Surrounding a rejuvenated Palmer is a stout offensive line, top-tier receiving corps, dearth of talent at running back, and one of the league’s most fearsome defenses to boot. A quarterback-reliant team this is not. That doesn’t mean general manager Steve Keim won’t explore other options in replacing his franchise QB when the time does come, but Stanton has shown enough to prove he can lead this team.

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