The Arizona Cardinals went into the off-season potentially looking for some new blood to compete for the starting quarterback job in 2013, and they may have found just that in free agency with the addition of Drew Stanton.
“I think in the back of my mind it was definitely my first choice,” Stanton said of the Cardinals during his introductory press conference. “Just when I saw [head coach Bruce Arians] come here and knowing what this team has to offer on so many different levels.
“I’m just looking forward to the opportunity and being able to embrace that and look forward to competition and whatever lies ahead.”
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah reports the deal is worth $8.2 million, with $3 million guaranteed and up to $12 million could be made via incentives. That is not exactly the type of money given to a starting quarterback in the NFL, but then again, Stanton has never really been a starter.
But the chance to earn that role in Arizona was appealing, as was the chance to reunite with his former offensive coordinator, who is now Arizona’s head coach.
“This is a great opportunity for Drew,” said Cardinals coach Bruce Arians in a press release. “He really impressed me during the year we spent together in Indy.
“Physically he has everything you want in a quarterback — big with a strong arm, can get it up the field and make all the throws. He’s just as impressive mentally and understands the position. I’m excited to get him here and compete.”
Whom Stanton will be competing with remains to be seen, as the futures of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley are very much up in the air. Only Brian Hoyer, who was recently offered a second-round tender by the team, is likely to return.
In his career, Stanton has thrown for 1,158 yards, five touchdowns and nine interceptions. His most recent regular season game action came in 2010 with Detroit, where he led the Lions to a 2-1 record while completing 58 percent of his passes for 780 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions.
Stanton, who was a second-round selection by the Detroit Lions back in 2007, has started four games in five NFL seasons. He’s appeared in 13 total contests and after backing up Andrew Luck in Indianapolis last season, was really just looking for someone to give him a shot.
“Am I going to have a fair chance,” he said was his question going into the negotiations. “Knowing the type of guy that B.A. is and what they’re trying to do around here, the excitement that is surrounding this franchise.”
Stanton said there “are so many pieces in place,” but acknowledges he knows the team is trying to find an answer at the quarterback position.
“I want to be that answer; I’m going to do everything in my power to be that answer and given that opportunity, I feel like I can.”