Stanton won't look past Gabbert for Cardinals' QB role

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians doesn't seem interested in replacing his backup quarterback, Drew Stanton, but Stanton isn't resting easy with former first-round pick and ex-49ers starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert on the roster.

"You guys see the scouts out there," Stanton said, via the team's website. "They're not out there just for the heck of it. They're out there evaluating everything we do. We have to be our toughest critics as well. I'm charting every single throw I'm throwing in training camp. I'm trying to be accurate and trying to do all those little things."

"Everybody wants these jobs and there are only so many to go around."

While a quarterback "battle" like this might seem banal during training camp, consider what the Cardinals might be on the precipice of. Throughout the offseason, Arians talked up this year's rookie quarterback class while general manager Steve Keim discussed finding a potential successor for Carson Palmer. They did not pick one, setting themselves up for a potential first-round quarterback in 2018. In his book The Quarterback Whisperer, which came out this summer, Arians said he's "ready for at least one more season of NFL football -- maybe more." Key word maybe. Palmer nearly retired this offseason.

With all of this uncertainty floating around, it would be nice to have some vision of a bridge into the future -- something the Cardinals could very well have organizationally but don't want to announce publicly. No one is saying the seven-year veteran Gabbert is part of that bridge plan, but he is six years younger than Stanton with better career numbers. If Arizona has an eye on 2018 and beyond, it would make sense to give Gabbert a fair shake during camp to see if he's worth calling a year from now.

One of the worst parts about training camp for players and best for fans is that the layers of intrigue are endless. There are few safe jobs and Stanton is smart enough to know that extended snaps in next week's Hall of Fame Game in Canton could be meaningful.

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