Before there was Carson Palmer, there was Drew Stanton.
Signed by the Arizona Cardinals after a stint with the Indianapolis Colts, the backup signal caller was in line to be his new team’s starting quarterback.
“We’ve got a very capable one in Drew Stanton we just happened to steal away from Chuck,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told the NFL Network in March. “Drew knows the offense, he’s more than capable of doing it.
With Palmer on board, Stanton will slide into the role of backup quarterback, which is not a bad gig if you can get it. After all, in that role one is often times the most popular player on the team amongst fans.
But where does the 29-year-old Stanton rank as far as backup signal callers go? According to NFL.com’s Marc Sessler, 18th.
Called a “game manager,” Stanton tops a group that also includes Brady Quinn, Bruce Gradkowski and David Carr.
An uninspiring mix, but Stanton was poised to start for Arizona before Carson Palmer swooped in. Quinn has yet to prove he can guide a team out of dark corners, and Carr, at 33, is entering the swansong of his uneven-at-best career.
Stanton has appeared in 12 NFL games — including four starts — completing 55.6 percent of his passes for 1,158 yards with five touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Behind him on Arizona’s depth chart figures to be second-year pro Ryan Lindley, though undrafted free agent Caleb TerBush is also on the roster.