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Drew Stanton: 'I don’t want to leave here, but at the same time, if I have to, then I will'

The backup quarterback prepared to do what is best for his family.

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Soon-to-be free agent quarterback Drew Stanton likes being on the Arizona Cardinals. The team likes Stanton. The team would like him back. It seems like an easy decision, right? It's not necessarily so.

It comes down to money and opportunity. Are the Cardinals willing to pay Stanton what he is worth?

All indications are that the Cardinals want to bring Stanton back as the backup to Carson Palmer. Good backups are hard to find. All you have to do is look at the Dallas Cowboys to know how bad it can be when the starter goes down and there isn't anyone serviceable behind him.

Stanton has shown he is at least serviceable.

As a starter in 2014, filling in for Carson Palmer when he had a shoulder injury and then after he tore his ACL, Stanton led the team to a 5-3 record and also threw the winning touchdown in the game in which Palmer injured his knee.

Chad Henne, a career 5-17 starter, just signed a two-year, $8 million contract in Jacksonville.

If that is the going rate for a backup, Stanton will command at least that much.

The fact the Cardinals want to bring Stanton back tells us they do not believe Matt Barkley is the guy to step ni for an injured Palmer.

Stanton is taking a realistic approach to free agency. He has been burned in the past. Speaking to Kyle Odegard from, he mentioned unforeseen "curveballs" in past free agent experiences.

He has been a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While he was in Detroit, the Lions drafted Matthew Stafford number one overall. He signed with the Jets, only to have the Jets acquire Tim Tebow. Stanton was then traded to the Colts, who then drafted Andrew Luck first overall.

In 2013, he signed a three-year deal with the Cardinals and it looked like perhaps he would have his shot at starting. Weeks later, the Cardinals traded for Carson Palmer.

Now he has a chance to perhaps compete for starting job, or at least earn a decent contract. I have heard it will cost roughly $4.5 million a year to sign him.

"I want to surround myself with good organizations that have good people within them," he said. "I think this is one of those places. So I don't want to leave here, but at the same time, if I have to, then I will."

The NFL is not kind to players when they are done with them. You have to take advantage when you can.

"I think at the end of the day, I have to do what's best for my family," he said. "I think from an organizational standpoint, each and every team is going to do what's best for them. That's the business we signed up for. As long as I continue to play, it's going to be that way. So you adhere to the rules and you try to do everything you can when the ball is in your court to have control of what's going on. We'll see what that is and how that transpires in the end."