A league-wide dearth at the quarterback position makes Stanton an oddity among backups: A veteran with quality snaps under his belt that has gotten little chance at a starting gig. Most backups are either young developmental projects (Brett Hundley) or known placeholders with little shot at pushing the starter (Dan Orlovsky).
As a free agent this offseason, Stanton could have chased a starting gig, but the 32-year-old decided to re-sign with the Arizona Cardinals on a two-year, $6.5 million deal with $4.5 million guaranteed. It's good money for a backup, but Stanton believes down the line, he'll get a shot at the starting gig.
"As you get older, I think just wanting to be a part of a good situation (is the priority)," Stanton told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "There's not a written rule on how you become a starting quarterback in this league and how you can sustain that over a period of time. I've found a great situation here in Arizona. Who knows who long Carson will play for?
"But I've had at-length discussions with everybody in the franchise (about the fact) that there's a chance for me to be able to start when he's done. So that's the whole goal of all this."
It's easy to imagine most within the Cardinals organization acquiescing to the idea that Stanton could get a shot at the starting gig. It's easy to believe things you don't have to deal with right now.
At the moment Arizona doesn't have a developmental "quarterback of the future" after cutting bait with Logan Thomas last year. Matt Barkley remains on the roster, but has never shown more than third-QB traits, and undrafted Alabama product Jake Coker sits as the only rookie on the pre-training camp roster.
Palmer will turn 37 years old this December. Could this be his last year? Sure. It could. He could also play several more seasons. Palmer proved last year he's ideal for coach Bruce Arians' offense and his arm strength isn't rapidly dwindling.
Things change fast in the NFL. If Palmer walks, the Cardinals could leap to the next hot commodity. Or, perhaps, whenever Palmer does hang up his cleats, Stanton will get a brief shot as a bridge-to-the-future.