Cards’ backup QB Drew Stanton opens up about debacle with New York Jets
Lost amidst the hoopla that comes with every mention of the names Rex Ryan, Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez was the Drew Stanton-gets-snubbed-by-Mike-Tannenbaum-and-the-New-York-Jets storyline last season.
With help from the offended party himself, who joined Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Show Tuesday, here’s how the story goes.
“You know, it was a very interesting turn of events,” Stanton explained.
Indeed, it was. And it began with Stanton, then, a free agent quarterback who had spent his career up until that point as QB-2 for the Detroit Lions, paying a visit to The Meadowlands in New York.
“I had some other visits set up and was looking forward to taking those visits as well,” recalled Stanton, “but as soon as I got (to New York), I felt really good about the entire situation, and I sat in Mike Tanenbaum’s office and he told me that if I was to sign on the dotted line that they would not do anything else at the quarterback position.
“Mark Sanchez would be the starter, I would be the backup with a chance to compete to start, and then they had Greg McIlroy, who they liked as a young guy that was intelligent that could get them through a football game and they wanted to see how he progressed.”
Sounds like a good deal for a guy who was stuck behind Matthew Stafford for years.
“So I signed,” said Stanton.
But Mike Tannenbaum, the former general manager of the Jets, did not keep his word.
Stanton continues the recount of the saga: “Everything would lead you to believe that that was what was going to happen and then a week later, I started hearing rumors.”
The Jets’ lust for TebowMania in New York got the best of the GM and Tim Tebow joined the team as Mark Sanchez’s backup and Rex Ryan’s wildcat novelty.
“The trade went down with Tebow and then it was back and forth, back and forth,” told Stanton. “And I’m trying to call people in New York.
“I’m trying to get a hold of Tanenbaum. I’m trying to get a hold of everybody else and nobody’s answering my calls. And I’m starting to get aggravated.”
With no word from the Jets, who spurned Stanton so bad that they failed to even return his calls, the quarterback and his representation had to stand pat until the trade for Tebow, which was rumored to have fall-through potential, was complete.
“Once we saw that the trade was going to go through, my agent gave them a list of names of teams we were interested in,” said Stanton, of his move to get off the team that lied to him.
“If you saw some of the stuff that went on with Tebow in Denver, you know, with Kyle Orton being the starting quarterback, and everybody started chanting for him, you know, it becomes a popularity contest at that point and I didn’t want anything to do with that,” he said.
But it wasn’t just Tebow that Stanton wanted no part of. The lack of togetherness in the Jets’ organization was alarming. The team told him they believed in him, saw one thing, but seemed to believe another.
“All of the Jets organization (said) they really wanted to bring me in,” Stanton said. “I was their first priority at quarterback, and they wanted someone they could rely on.”
“They said they had done a bunch of homework on me and they wanted somebody who could come in and compete for the starting job to push Mark Sanchez, but also if something went south where I lost to Mark, I’d still be there and could contribute to his development and try to help him out and aid him.”
All for naught.
The quarterback was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, where he played behind Andrew Luck and under current Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, with whom he forged and excellent relationship.
“I came here because of Coach Arians,” Stanton said.
Of course, as luck would have it, the Cardinals signed quarterback Carson Palmer weeks after Stanton’s arrival.
But that’s another story.