Another long off-season has begun for the Arizona Cardinals, and has been the case for the last three, they are still looking to get better at quarterback. They currently have the seventh pick in what is being widely hailed as a weak draft class, for quarterbacks at least. Barring a small miracle with Geno Smith dropping to their spot or every scouting team in the country being wrong they aren’t finding their quarterback of the future in this draft.
There are of course a few intriguing options in free agency or maybe even via trade, but most of them will prove to be very costly. One name that does stick out though is soon to be free agent Drew Stanton. Stanton won’t cost an arm and a leg and this just might be the right fit for both him and the club.
Stanton has been a victim of circumstance for his short three year career and has never really been given a chance to prove his worth. Stanton was thrown into untenable situations, with a horrible supporting cast with what little playing time he did get in Detroit, where he was originally drafted. Over his three year tenure with the Lions Stanton completed 104 of 187 passes for 1,158 yards and 5 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. His passer rating was 63.1. After a rough go at it in Detroit Stanton signed as a free agent with the New York Jets. The Jets would trade for Tebow and Stanton was then sent to Indianapolis to backup Andrew Luck. Had the Jets not acquired Tebow, Stanton probably would have started at some point last season.
He’s in the exact same spot he was last off-season. A free agent, free to choose his destiny. There will be many teams calling his agent and the Cardinals should be first in line.
The move makes sense for a variety of reasons. Stanton and new head coach Bruce Arians have already developed a rapport with each other. Arians is apparently very high on Stanton, and was impressed with his performance in the pre-season last year with the Colts. Stanton understands Arians system and knows it very well. The Cardinals also lack the cap space to spend freely on a risky high priced free agent.
Acquiring Stanton would also provide the Cardinals a little flexibility with Kevin Kolb, who they are apparently willing to give another chance. They could have an open competition for the starting gig in training camp. If Stanton were to lose out to Kolb, he will provide a much better option at backup then John Skelton. Or if they do draft a quarterback this means he will be given at the very least one year to develop, rather than being rushed in. This could be that little slice of savvy genius that puts new general manager Steve Keim’s mark on the team as he tries to establish a winning culture with a team that is foreign to the concept.
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