Stanton and stability at backup QB

Posted by Darren Urban on March 26, 2018 – 8:12 am

Drew Stanton officially moved on from the Cardinals this weekend, agreeing to terms with Cleveland in an interesting QB group that now has Stanton, Tyrod Taylor, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and what is certain to be a rookie quarterback taken with the No. 1 choice in the draft, whether it is Sam Darnold or Josh Allen or whomever.

But Stanton’s departure also underscores the remarkable stability the Cardinals had at quarterback during the five years of Bruce Arians. Stanton was one of the first free agents signed by the Cards after Arians was hired, Carson Palmer was acquired in a trade a few weeks after, and that was the setup the whole time Arians was coach: Palmer as starter, Stanton was No. 2. There were others mixed in at No. 3, whether it was Logan Thomas or Matt Barkley or Blaine Gabbert or even Ryan Lindley, and certainly injuries impacted the position. But it was always Palmer/Stanton, stability that I think ultimately helped the offense. (Of course, that stability might have led to a comfort level that slowed a look for a future QB, but that’s a story that has been and will be talked about elsewhere.)

As for Stanton, here was a guy who signed with the Cardinals expecting to finally get a chance to start, and then never did because Palmer arrived soon after. But he eventually came to grips with who he was in the NFL and his role, and he did it pretty well. Stanton ended up winning nine of 13 starts in Arizona (and helped the Cards rally to a win against the Rams in 2014 in the game Palmer started and tore his ACL.) That he got a walk-off moment by beating the Seahawks in Seattle to close 2017 and his (and Arians’) Cardinals’ tenure was apropos.

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40 Responses to “Stanton and stability at backup QB”

  1. By RagingREDBird on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    I am happy for Drew. I will always remember him running down the field, hands swinging and the big Mikhail Baryshnikovick kick. What a team player! One of the many pieces that might not seem important, but those people are the ground work and backbone of any great organization. I wish him well!

    Not sure but he might have the best winning percentage in Cards History. If not the best top 3 for QBs. Just saying a win is a win.

  2. By JosEPh on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Drew Stanton will never get the respect he deserves for his time with the Cardinals. Too many fans will pick at his completion % and continue to overlook that he was 9-4 while here in the #2 spot. Other fans will gripe about his contracts and say “way overpaid”, but still overlook his record and his importance to the QB room that he brought every day.

    Thank you Drew Stanton for being a Cardinal. And sorry for you and CP never getting that SB chance. Salute to you and God Bless.

  3. By D on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    At least SK will have options at #15 in the first round if he can’t move up or down in the draft. The Cards could fill one hole at either QB, OT, CB or WR.

    Even if he doesn’t move, he should be able to draft one of the following:

    QB– 5th or 6th best in Draft-over drafting Rudolph or L Jackson at #15 doesn’t fit SK’s draft history. Like last year, everyone knows AZ is looking for a QB, don’t be surprised one or two teams try to trade up before AZ’s pick to draft Mayfield as the 4th Qb drafted.

    OT– Top 3 best RT. (lets be honest, A. Smith is not a long term solution as a starter, more a depth option at this point in his career at RT. )
    M. McGlinchey or O. Brown at RT would be a upgrade and a long term solution to go with DJ Humphries.

    WR– Top 3 best WR. I am not convinced there is a Larry F in this draft.

    CB–Top 2 Corner–The top 2 CB’s should be available at #15. The history will show you that Wilkes has done more with lower/non drafted players at CB in the past, so I am not sure he will say he needs a 1st RD CB rather he can turn a 2-3 round pick into a starter.

    I would guess, if SK stays at #15, he’ll draft a OT.

  4. By John S. on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    I think the Cards made a mistake here, especially given the current QB situation and going into this years schedule with all the newbies here… should have held onto him for at least the 2018 season; see how it all sorted out.
    I wish Stanton well, and will miss his commitment to the team/players/fans… good luck in Cleveland Drew.

  5. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Class act and total team player! Best of luck, Drew!

  6. By joe holst on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Stanton has made a ton of money for very little game time

  7. By creditcard on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    I was hoping the Cards were going to keep Stanton. Oh well. Seems like many Cardinal players and players outside of the Cardinal organization are staying away from the Cardinals.

    I’m sure players talk to players,and there must be apprehension from the players in terms of playing for the Cards, from the free agents. New coach? New coaching staff? Aging players? Lack of QB, then questionable QB’s health? Limited O-line? Limited depth? Lack of Cap monies? Kiem? Possibly all of the above?

    In any case, the Cards are having an exodus. I feel sorry for Steve Wliks, new coach,and a family man, who appears to be walking into a seemingly impossible scenario of winning or being successful.

  8. By Judy Beatty on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    I wish Drew Stanton the best ! He was a good backup for us, and his sideline dance was awesome.

  9. By Richard Dixon on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Good luck Drew – we will miss you.

  10. By Scott H on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Stability is the perfect word for what Stanton provided during his time here. Perfect. He was a constant you could count on.

    And we were able to count on him on and off the field.

    Off the field, he provided Palmer with a level of security that Palmer himself spoke to, so that is not opinion on my part.

    On the field, he won 9 of 13 games he started as a Cardinal. And let’s give him credit for the Rams game in 2014 during which we lost Palmer for the season. When Palmer left the game, we were losing and the offense had seemed rather flat. Stanton came in and got us the lead on what was either his first or second snap. The Cardinals ended up winning. Stanton didn’t start that game but he should get the credit for the win. If that had been a baseball game, the starting pitcher would not have gotten the win. Same thing.

    The people who never appreciated Drew Stanton are / were just plain ignorant as far as I’m concerned. Based on his record alone, he might very well have been the best / most effective back-up QB in the NFL over that 5-year period he spent here. To not appreciate that…..just plain ignorant.

    And that crazy side-line dance he broke out during Ellington’s TD run up in Seattle back in 2015 was just priceless. Had to be one of the most memorable celebrations we’ve ever seen.

    I sincerely wish Drew Stanton well, I really do. He is a solid QB and an all-around good guy. I’m on record as having stated that I think we would have been well-served by keeping Stanton around for 2018 and drafting a QB. I certainly think we were better served doing that than spending what we did for one year of Sam Bradford.

    I think Drew Stanton could have kept this team as competitive for 2018 as they would have been capable of. For a lot less.

  11. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Stanton was a stud backup. Played ugly, won ugly… but he won, and played with guts.

    Fare thee well Drew, and thank you.

  12. By Scott H on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Darren –

    We know that Arians loved Stanton, so it is no surprise that he remained here during the Arians era. We know Palmer had a comfort level with Stanton, too, so….all the more reason he was here for those five years.

    And I’m glad he was.

    But can you speak to this question – after the departures of Palmer and Arians, do you know if there was ANY consideration of trying to keep Stanton here? Sure didn’t seem like there was. I never heard a word from Stanton or the organization about it. And no offer was made… least, none that we ever heard about.

    Any consideration that you were aware of?

  13. By Darren Urban on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Stanton

    I do not know for sure, but once B.A. and Palmer moved on, I always got the feeling the Cards were going to move on from Drew as well. I think at this point, they’d rather take a flier on Glennon simply because of the younger age.

  14. By Bartman72 on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    It amazes me how often fans complained about Stanton on the internet. By his own admission, he wasn’t going to put up Peyton Manning like numbers, but he had a winning record here, and he helped keep the Cards’ playoff hopes alive in at least 2 seasons.

    And can anyone left on the Cards roster do sideline dances like he can?

    Thanks Drew and best of luck in Cleveland.

  15. By JTDG on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Looking at Free Agency at this point;

    What I like;

    – Signing Justin Pugh. Over the past two years , he has missed 13 games, but I think if he can stay healthy, he is a very solid guard.

    – Getting Mike Iupati to take a paycut. There is a risk here since he was injured last year and struggled in 2016. But if they are a run first team, he could be worth the money.

    – Release of Honey Badger – I know it is not popular, I get it. But 14 million a year? I think he is too small to match up with TEs, and not quick enough in the slot.

    – Trade of Veldheer, getting a 6th rounder is better than releasing him

    – Resign of Josh Bynes. I thought he played better than Bucannon last year.

    What I don’t like;

    – Signing of Andre Smith. He started 12 games total the last two years and his best is clearly behind him. The 31 year old tackle is clearly a stop gap (or should be)

    – Signing of Sam Bradford. I know, if healthy, he can be good. But 4 teams in 8 years and hasn’t played 16 games since 2012. You could sell me on him being a stop gap depending on the draft.

    – Mike Glennon. Please tell me he is not the future. I didn’t like him coming out of college and I still don’t. You can’t convince me he is better than what we had here.

    – Letting Tramon Williams walk without a replacement. I know, there is still time and with the cards moving more towards a zone, doesn’t require a great CB to be opposite Pat P. But losing Williams over a million bucks was not good.

  16. By Mark on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    I think their free agency has been ok. However paying Glennon who if everything goes well will never play a down next year the money you could have given EJ Gaines is mind numbing. Gaines played solid for a crappy team and would have solidified that number 2 corner spot. I just think the Cards had more pressing needs and could have still got Glennon for cheaper and if he got away, of well, we sign some other veteran for cheap.

  17. By Richard S on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Stanton won more than he lost. Hopefully the next QB will be able to do the same. Good luck in Cleveland.

  18. By RagingREDBird on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    To the people that don’t like Darren’s comment to Scott? WTF? Are you not agreeing with his feelings they they might move on from Drew or are you upset over the Cardinals organizations plans for the future? When a new coach comes in with a new scheme it makes sense to let the old back-up players go. To be honest they like to bring in their own people which is why Drew got the job in the first place. Drew is aging and does not know the O playbook. This is not a bad move from the Cards point of view. If you are thumbing it down just cause he said
    he thought it was coming… isn’t that what you want more from him. Insight…behind the curtain stuff.

    Darren can you allow comments connected with each blog so maybe people could explain their thinking if the wanted too. I know you can type another blog, but it would be nice sometimes just to attach a response. I think more people might have dialogue with each other. Straight Thumbs up/down is just not enough sometimes. I can tell you Scott and I would have had more comments if that was the case. Maybe that is why you don’t do it. LOL

  19. By Darren Urban on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    RagingRED —

    RE: Comments

    I am assuming you mean the ability to link to a specific comment? Because you are already commenting on a particular post. In the end, that’s when you address someone in the comment, kind of like I do. That’s the best I can do.

  20. By El Gallo on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    – Rams

    They officially signed Suh.. 1yr, $14M
    They’re stacking their team with proven players

    Along with the rest of our NFC West foes..

    But we can rest easy knowing we added guys like Glennon..?

  21. By JTDG on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Wow, the Rams are really putting together a team to challenge for the Superbowl.

    The Rams were the #1 team in scoring last year . But that isn’t good enough. They are in talks with the Giants to get OBJ.

    Then their defense, ranked 12th in 2017, added Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, will also add Ndamukong Suh to a defensive line that has Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers.

    The cards already struggled to block Donald. Now what? Yep, Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, and Michael Brockers coming after Sam Bradford. Don’t worry, cardinal QBs never get injured against the rams.

    Then , if the trade goes thru, OBJ will join Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, along with Todd Gurley.

    They are all in. That, my friends, is aggressive.

  22. By patrick on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    “By Scott H on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply
    Who has ever “accused” Humphries of being un-professional??
    I’ve had plenty to say about Humphries but have never said that. Nor have I heard anyone else say that.”

    My description on unprofessional as a description for Humphries was in regard to criticism from his rookie year. Basically, he needed to mature and be more professional.

    “Arians critiqued Humphries’ maturity early in OTAs, saying that Humphries needed to learn how to be a professional.” Josh Weinfuss-ESPN 8/24/15

    I think Humphries has owned his rookie year, and hopefully we can agree the maturity issues are behind him.

  23. By patrick on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    By JTDG on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply
    Humphries; “Cardinals LT should not be an issue going into 2018 season.”

    JTDG, I agree that this comment may not have been the best to end my post.

    Afterall, offensive line health and continuity is always a concern and issue for every NFL team. For example the Eagles had a pretty good contingency plan last year when Jason Peters went down and he had played in 62 out of 64 games going into last year.

    I think the two statistics you used are accurate and can be used to argue a glass half empty argument.

    The first statistic “18 of a possible 48 games” is only valid if you think Humphries still has maturity issues that cost him the first 16 games of his career and has the potential to impact his 2018 season. Otherwise it is accurate but irrelevant.

    The 2nd statistic “Has played only 8 games over past two years at LT.” is also accurate and better than the first. But is skewed somewhat by not taking into account the 13 games he played at RT. Humphries experience at RT has contributed to his development and should not be ignored.

    The best statistic to use would be “he has played 18 out of the last 32 games,” (which is still not great by any means.) and can be used to support a glass half empty or a glass half full philosophy.

    There are also some other positive things about his injuries:
    * His injuries have been different things like concussion, dislocated knee and a sprained MCL.
    * It is not like he has had two torn acl’s in the same knee that would cause huge concern going into 2018.
    * All these injuries have been legitimate, it is not like he is soft and missing time unnecessarily.
    * He has a pretty good financial incentive to be on the field and productive.

    I am a glass half full this year, especially in March.

  24. By Blijiojiodiblido on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    The Rams are actually gonna be good next year. Suh and Donald, I’m so done.

  25. By clssylssy on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    Many fans undervalue the worth of a good backup QB, but this year, if nothing else, proved to be the year of the backup with guys like Case Keenum, Nick Foles, as well as Drew Stanton stepping in to lead their teams to victory. Like a few others, I have believed in Stanton and continue to believe he is better than some of the current starters and could have been a valuable and cost effective answer to the Cardinal bridge situation. His biggest problem in the minds of many seems to be his association with BA, although many of these same people were BA cheerleaders until it became unfashionable and they weren’t. Nonetheless, the qualities that Arians loved about Drew were valid skills desired in a QB, such as football IQ, toughness, leadership, the ability to be cool under pressure and have the respect of his teammates. He was a great guy to have representing the Cards in the community and just an all around stand up person. And, he could dance and was fun, not taking himself too seriously (a good skill to have when the sky is falling).
    While I hate losing Drew, I am thankful for all his efforts in the role as our safety net, and for getting us those last wins of 2017, that allowed us to get to .500. I wish him all the best in this next chapter as he joins the eight other former players improving their situations with a fresh start.
    I seriously have to question how with little money, and five draft picks, Keim’s “scorched earth” plan is going to result in anything positive for this team and our fans.

  26. By Jeff A on Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

    I kinda figured Drew would be gone with a regime change as they’ll bring in guys who they envision in their scheme, but I hoped he would be a holdover. People always say he didn’t really produce numbers, but they forget that much of his playing time was in a season that the offense way underproduced. They were beset by injuries from camp on and never gelled, probably because there were new players starting nearly every week. It would have been interesting to see how he did the year the O did really well, but thankfully, he wasn’t needed. He always seemed like he had the potential to be a starter, but was always pushed aside for another QB, first in Det then AZ. In the end, he was a great back up. I never felt like he would lose the game, he wouldn’t carry a team, but he would be solid and dependable. And yes, he was overpaid to be a backup, but he was signed to be a starter since no one knew Carson would be available in a few weeks. Good luck to him.

    JTDG –

    So much agreement here, especially with Bynes, Tramon and Pugh.

    I think Veldheer was more valuable than a 6. Should have been a 5 or a conditional 6 to 4 if he hit certain numbers.

    Agree on HB, he’s not worth that much due to injury risk and lack of stellar performance. He’s in the same boat as Iupati, but they took separate paths. I really thought he would be a team player and take a cut considering how overpaid he had been for a few years. I was surprised when he spoke against it so much.

    I can’t believe what Bradford got. Were they unaware that all the other teams that needed a QB had gotten one? The market had clearly swung in the Card’s favor considering he was going to be a backup just about anywhere else at that point. He should have gotten 10 with incentives to 15 for play time.

    Not sold on Glennon either. I’d rather have Stanton.

  27. By Mark on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    Stanton was another ticket to mediocrity, just like Palmer. With them gone and Bradford as a starting point, the Cards are WAY ahead of last season already.

  28. By Scott H on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    Palmer was mediocre and we are so much better off with Bradford? Oh, for the love of God…

    Please. I’ll take Palmer any day over Bradford.

  29. By Brandon on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    Fine. So when are the Cards going to pick up Colin Kaepernick instead of a dude who gets injured all patched up with band aids. We need an awesome quarterback!!! Come on Cards!!!!

  30. By faster on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    suh signed into the nfc west.

    now i`m waiting on the schedule, to place my bets on glennons first start.

    isn`t it positive?

  31. By Robert on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    being 1 thousand percent honest, can anyone say that the Cards won’t finish last in their division? Look at the Rams and 49ers and SeaHawks? Are we better than those teams? The free agency class is one of the worst in Football. I just saw a few ratings which put the Cardinals near the bottom as compared to the other teams. Getting a 6th round pick for our tackle? Watch..he’ll go back to playing his natural position and have close to an all Pro Year. Mark this post. Totally depressing!

  32. By faster on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    after the suh signing, mock draft 0.2 is available, i changed most of my picks:

    15 OT/G/C wynn
    47 C price
    79 C ragnow
    97 OT okorakfor
    134 G teller
    152 G hearn
    182 QB lauletta
    254 QB barrett

  33. By Aaron Allery on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    The time for optimism has passed us by. Keim’s aggressive free agency has set the Cardinals up for years to come. His drafts are impeccable and his free agency signings are completely optimal. He is the best GM in the league. Deal with it.

    Bidwill looks like a complete jerk for extending him to the entire fan base. Good looking out SK. Now we are at the beginning of a complete overhaul that will take 3-5 years, the fans just don’t know it yet, that is what Keim has set up for you. The signing of Bradford was purposeful because injury can easily be blamed for a tanking season. Feigned aggressiveness in free agency is a tactic that fools many fans just by inquiring about or low-balling free agents.

    SK knows what he is doing. He is trying to make it seem like the Cards are competitive while tanking for a QB in the next few years. It will be a 2-3 year process. There is no way the Cards can compete with LA and soon SF for at least 3-5 years and they know it. The Seahawks know it too, and they completely flipped their roster, something the Cardinals could have done last year if not for Arian’s pride and Keim’s mismanagement. You add in Keim’s cap hits (horrible contracts created by Keim) and they know that this year is a tanking year while trying to retain fan interest.

    Next year they will have a higher draft pick and more cap room but Larry will be gone. When I moved top Phoenix I cheered for the Cards blindly. I can no longer do that knowing the intentional bait and switch that is continuously taking place with this team. In addition, I feel the only optimization the Cardinals have achieved is in their capitalization of fans. I feel for Larry and David but they are paid handsomely and are pros pros like many others on the team (PP,CD,BB). It was fun at times but it is like a girlfriend who is really fun when you meet her but over time you figure out that everything she does, every move she makes, somehow leads back to her benefit in some way. Not cool Keim, you are deliberate.

  34. By Joe C. on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    Bleacher report list the Rams and Seahawks as two of the top five teams to lOSE talent. The am’s revamped their defense by adding Suh, Talib, and Peters. All three head cases. Before the draft, if I had to bet, I’d give the Cards 8-8 and I’d have my fingers crossed. But that’s what I would have said in 2015. And last year I’d have picked the Rams to be 6-10.

  35. By Phx Raiders on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    Wouldn’t it be nice……if the browns would trade us their number 1 and tyrod, for our #1,#2,#3 and our #1 next year and glennon.

    We take the best qb, our Qb of the future, then ride it out with Bradford and Taylor

  36. By D on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    I believe even though the Cards have plenty of Centers on their roster, they still need to draft one in April.
    I will guess the D. Munyer resign is a thought that he will be the backup Center for 2018.
    I would be fine with a 3rd round pick of F. Ragnow from Ark. would be a fine pick for a future Center.
    I don’t see Boehm and Shipley long for the roster if AZ takes a center by Round 3. This Oline is being rebuilt as PeopleMovers, they will need a strong Center moving forward.

  37. By JTDG on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply


    Glass half full;

    I get it. You may not have the same background with the cards as I do.

    As I said before, I was there when the cards drew 20-25K of card fans. I was there when they finally looked like they turned the corner in 1998, only to watch several players walk and then, right back to losing.

    I watched Aeneas demand a trade, and Simeon Rice shown the door. I watched draft picks like Thomas Jones over the clearly top guy in Urlacker or a trade down instead of hometown favorite, Suggs.

    I have watched this team pass on QBs when clearly needing one, like 2005, when they passed on Aaron Rodgers, when they had no QB.

    So, yes, maybe I have seen too many bad moves and am a little too glass half empty.

  38. By Dave on Mar 27, 2018 | Reply

    Good luck and God Bless Drew! You took advantage of the opportunities when they were presented even though some were without all the support around you – injured players or game conditions.

    I remember Drew as much as involved in the community on behalf of Cardinal Charities through appearances but he always jumped in and helped – never stood by to watch but interacted with kids and families. And at one he opened up his personal checkbook and donated to the cause. That impressed so many of us at the event and he tried to do it quiet where no one knew, but as we were wrapping up the charity shared the story and were blown away by his generosity!

  39. By Scott H on Mar 30, 2018 | Reply

    joe hoist –

    RE: Stanton making a ton of money for very little game time

    Really? OK, two things….

    He was a back-up QB. Typically, they don’t get a lot of playing time. They’re not supposed to get a lot of “game time.”

    And, look what he did with the “game time” he did get. Won most of the games we needed to count on him for. IMHO, I’d say that is a back-up QB that absolutely earned his money. Every damn penny of it.

    Whatever Stanton was paid, he earned it. Money well spent.

    Down the road, tell me how much of his money you think Sam Bradford earned. Ask the Vikings how much of his money he earned last year with all that “game time” HE had.

  40. By Caroline J. Morelli on Apr 2, 2018 | Reply

    YEAH…..Now we just need a healthy REAL QB!

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