Drew Stanton: The Cardinals’ Mystery Man


The Cardinals are without starting quarterback Carson Palmer for an unknown amount of time, due to a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder. The Cardinals are forced to go with backup Drew Stanton. Stanton did his job last Sunday by leading the Cardinals to victory on the road against the New York Giants.

It was Drew Stanton’s first time starting an NFL game since 2010. He went just 14-29 for 167 yards. He threw no touchdowns, but more importantly no interceptions either. He didn’t do anything flashy or memorable, but he got the win, making the average fan ask, “Who is this guy?”

Drew Stanton played his college ball at Michigan State. The team went just 4-7 in games Stanton played in during his final collegiate season. At his time at Michigan State, Stanton proved himself as a valuable dual threat player, and was selected in the 2nd round, 47th overall, in the 2007 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions.

His NFL career did not go as expected as he injured his knee in training camp, and missed the entire 2007 season after having surgery. He returned to the team in 2008 as a backup to Dan Orlovsky.

During the 2009 season, it was possible that Stanton could earn the starting job over old-timer, Daunte Culpepper. The Lions had other ideas and went with number one overall pick Matthew Stafford. Stafford has yet to give the job back to anyone else since then. Stanton played sparingly in the rest of his Lions career, playing only because of injuries.

The Lions decision to give the job to Stafford over Drew Stanton proved as a foreshadow to the rest of his career up to now. In 2012, Stanton chose to sign with the New York Jets in 2012 as a free agent with the understanding that only the unimpressive Mark Sanchez was in his way. Not even a week later the Jets acquired media sensation and Florida golden boy, Tim Tebow. Drew Stanton wanted out and was traded to the Indianapolis Colts where he once again found himself 2nd on the depth chart behind the number one overall pick, Andrew Luck.

Drew Stanton once again tested free agency hoping that he could end up being a starter. He soon signed a three-year deal with the Cardinals. It seemed like the perfect fit for Stanton. He was set to inherit a rebuilding team with star wideout Larry Fitzgerald, and the team hadn’t had a capable quarterback since Kurt Warner retired. Drew Stanton would also feel at home as new head coach Bruce Arians was set to take over. Arians was the offensive coordinator/interim coach for the Colts in Stanton’s only season there.

It seemed like a perfect fit for Stanton, but the Cardinals acquired Carson Palmer less than a month later from the Oakland Raiders, showing that Stanton is arguably the unluckiest guy in football.

Palmer became the third former number one overall pick to take away the starting job from Stanton in just five years.

The 8 year veteran, journeyman looks to finally take advantage of his time on the field as he will be the starter once again, filling in for Carson Palmer, as they go against the division rival, San Francisco 49ers, this Sunday.

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