Signs Point To Drew Stanton Joining Bruce Arians In Arizona

Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE

It makes sense for Stanton to reunite with Bruce Arians in the desert.

One of the better moves made by 2012 NFL Executive of the Year Ryan Grigson was the trade for quarterback Drew Stanton. It was cool because it:

A) Took advantage of a very dysfunctional Jets organization that had just added Tim Tebow, and

B) Gave the Colts a quality back-up quarterback, something Bill Polian had been unable to do since Brock Huard was on the roster back in '03.

Stanton wasn't a "franchise" guy, but he had talent, intelligence, and starting experience. He was also ideally suited for Bruce Arians' vertical passing attack. If Andrew Luck had gone down at some point in 2012 - and after absorbing 46 sacks, I'm kind of amazed he didn't - Stanton could have come in and run the offense effectively.

2013 brings unrestricted free agency for Stanton, and in a league where quality quarterbacks are hard to come by, the smart money is on Stanton leaving Indianapolis for a team where, maybe, he has a chance to start.

Dan Pompei of National Football Post and the Chicago Tribune seems to think the place Stanton will end up is Arizona, reuniting him with Arians.

"Arians was impressed with how Stanton performed in preseason and practiced all season with the Colts, and he needs a quarterback. The fact that Stanton knows Arians’ offense and fits in it gives Stanton an edge. Stanton is likely to have multiple suitors, but the Cardinals’ opportunity might be the most intriguing for him because it could be his best chance to be a starter."

The Cardinals also have Larry Fitzgerald, and players like Fitz have a tendency to make mediocre quarterbacks look extraordinary. Just ask Kurt Warner. (zing!)

Overall, it might be in the best interest of both Stanton and the Colts if there is a parting of ways. Chandler Harnish, the final player picked in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Colts, showed impressive ability in preseason last year. He seems poised to take the next step, which is to go from very raw to mildly consistent. The only way he can do that is by taking reps in OTAs and preseason, and it would be hard to do that with Stanton still on the team.

Plus, Stanton has earned the right to compete for a starting job, and after suffering through a season of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, and Ryan Lindley, Cardinals fans could almost see Stanton as the second coming of Kurt Warner. (zing!)

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