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Monday, February 11, 2013
Could Stanton be Arizona's new starter?

By Paul Kuharsky

Backup quarterback may wind up a spot added to the Indianapolis Colts’ list of needs.

Dan Pompeii of the National Football Post raised the idea of Drew Stanton, who’s going to be a free agent, following Bruce Arians to Arizona.

Writes Pompeii: “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.”

It would be unfortunate for the Colts to lose Stanton, but if it’s not to Arizona there are plenty of teams in need at the position that might add Stanton to their mix and give him a much bigger opportunity than he’ll have in Indianapolis so long as Andrew Luck is healthy.

He made a $700,000 base salary in 2012 and didn’t play a regular-season snap. The Colts added him on March 23, 2012 after the Jets traded for Tim Tebow. Indianapolis got Stanton and a seventh-round pick (214th) in 2012 in exchange for a sixth-round pick (187th).

While losing Stanton would put the Colts in need of a backup, they are shifting systems under Pep Hamilton, the coordinator hired to replace Arians. Arians won coach of the year for his work during 12 games Chuck Pagano missed while battling leukemia. The Cardinals hired Arians away to be their head coach.

Hamilton comes from Stanford where he had worked with Luck as a collegian. While Hamilton will look to keep some elements of Arians' offense, which really pushed the ball downfield, he will add elements of a West Coast system.

Chandler Harnish, the last pick of the 2012 draft out of Northern Illinois, finished 2012 on the practice squad.

There aren’t many free-agent quarterbacks with quality experience coming to market but general manager Ryan Grigson may need to court one of these guys to replace Stanton.