ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals QB Stanton: You find balance between backup role, wanting more

Apr 13, 2017, 9:31 AM | Updated: 4:07 pm
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (5) walks to the bench after throwing an interception ag...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (5) walks to the bench after throwing an interception against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

When the conversation turns to the Arizona Cardinals and their quarterback position, it always comes up that after starter Carson Palmer, there isn’t much.

At least, not in terms of a player who could succeed the veteran should he retire following the 2017 season.

That’s why there has been plenty of talk about the team’s goal of finding a quarterback of the future, perhaps in this year’s draft.

While it makes sense that beyond Palmer there would be questions, the truth is the Cardinals do have a reliable option beyond him in backup Drew Stanton. While the idea that the team is looking for a quarterback when he’s already on board could rub him the wrong way, the veteran who has appeared in 12 games over the last two seasons said he understands.

“I’m 32-years-old, I understand the business that I’m in,” Stanton told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday morning. “They’re always looking to replace you; everyone’s always looking to be replaced.”

Stanton re-signed with the Cardinals last offseason, agreeing to a two-year deal with the understanding that he would back up Palmer. After starting eight games in 2014 he appeared in just seven in 2015, and last year saw action in only five games, starting once.

A second-round pick of the Detroit Lions’ in 2007, Stanton has appeared in 33 NFL games, completing 266-of-500 passes for 3,165 yards and 14 touchdowns with 19 interceptions. Seen as a quality backup, it is apparent the Cardinals do not view him as a long-term option in the post-Palmer world, whenever it arrives.

It’s an interesting role for a player to have, though Stanton is mostly accepting of it because, at this point in his career, he understands teams see him a certain way.

“I realize that I’m not a sexy pick and stuff like that, but if you’re going to be content being a backup in this league, because that’s what I found out, you’re not going to be around long,” he said. “You find the balance within all of that and they are going to draft a young kid if he’s available, if he’s the right fit.”

Part of the reason why Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has said this would be an ideal time to find a young passer is that with Palmer and Stanton on the roster, a rookie could sit behind a pair of veterans while learning from them.

Palmer has openly embraced the idea of being a mentor, and Stanton, who would still like to play, said one of the nice things about being part of this is that everyone has been up front with him about their plans and where he fits.

“I’ve been fortunate to be around guys and learn from guys and I feel like I can impart some wisdom, especially for a young guy that was in that role,” Stanton said. “And you come into this league just eyes wide open and you are very unaware of some things, and other things you just kind of have to be around guys and let them make small mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

“I think being around three No. 1 overall picks as I have, I’m fortunate to learn from these guys that have elite-level talent like Andrew Luck and Matthew Stafford and obviously Carson. So you try and draw everything from players around you to make you better as a player.”

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