The Cardinals told Drew Stanton he might start when Carson Palmer's done playing

Drew Stanton is 32 years old and has been in the NFL for nine seasons. He has played in at least one game during only six of those seasons, and has made just 12 career starts. Eight of those starts came two seasons ago, when he went 5-3 for the Cardinals while filling in for an injured Carson Palmer.

Palmer came back last season and showed himself to be one of the top quarterbacks in the game. Still, Stanton re-signed with the Cardinals earlier this offseason on a two-year deal, apparently in part because the Cardinals told him he might have a chance to be their starter if and when Palmer moves on.

"As you get older, I think just wanting to be a part of a good situation," Stanton said on Sirius XM 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 how long Carson will play for? But I've had at-length discussions with everybody in the franchise 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."

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Drew Stanton hopes to start for the Cardinals when Carson Palmer retires. USATSI

It would be extremely rare for a player to become a starter for the first time that late in their career. This chart from Football Outsiders' Scott Kacsmar shows how rare it is for players to become quality quarterbacks when getting their first chance any time beyond even their first NFL season.

(Note: That chart shows when those players got their first career start, while Stanton has already had his. Still, most of them got their first start and then quickly became full-time starters, so Stanton would be doing so much later than any of them had.)

In any way, the point might be moot because if Palmer plays two seasons or more, the Cards will have to sign Stanton to a new deal if they want to follow through on their promise that he'll get "a chance" to be their starter, and they might not be interested at that point. We'll just have to wait and see.

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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