TEMPE, Ariz. -- Drew Stanton knows what it’s like to be a young quarterback trying to navigate his way through the NFL.
He’s been third string, the backup and the starter. He’s been active and inactive. He’s been demoted and promoted.
Entering his 11th NFL season and fourth with the Arizona Cardinals, Stanton has nearly seen it all, and he doesn’t like how the league approaches grooming this generation of young quarterbacks. Teams have put more of an emphasis on churning through the bottom part of their roster, trying to find the next free-agent gem or stashing a quarterback on the practice squad, Stanton said.
“It’s so hard to develop as a quarterback in this league nowadays,” Stanton said. “The NFL is, unfortunately, heading into a bad trend. When I first got in the league, you could be an inactive third on game day like I was when I was younger. That transitions into now, they’re trying to save spots and get guys to the practice squad.”
The Cardinals will face a decision similar to what Stanton describe this season. They have two veteran quarterbacks vying to back up Carson Palmer in Stanton and Blaine Gabbert. The only other quarterback on the roster is undrafted rookie Trevor Knight. Neither Stanton nor Gabbert is practice-squad eligible, but Knight is. Arizona will have to decide whether it wants to keep two active quarterbacks and one on the practice squad or three active quarterbacks and one on the practice squad.
“It’s musical chairs, for sure,” Stanton said.