Drew Stanton says it may be time to move on

Posted Feb 29, 2012

Drew Stanton has played almost his entire football career in the state of Michigan.

He won high school state titles at Farmington Hills Harrison, played quarterback at Michigan State and has played his entire professional career for the Lions after being the team's second-round draft pick in 2007.

But it finally could be time for Stanton to play somewhere else.

The Lions third-string quarterback is an unrestricted free agent starting March 13 and told that he wants an opportunity to play and that opportunity is likely with another team.

"I want to establish myself as a quality back-up in this league and take that progression to become a starter in this league," he said Wednesday in a phone interview.

"I feel like I have a good foundation and I've put in the time and effort and know the game and know how to study it and know how to prepare that given the opportunity, I can be successful."

Stanton was inactive for all 16 games last season as the back-up to both Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill.

In 2010, Stanton started three games for the Lions because of injuries to both Stafford and Hill and won two of those starts. He threw four touchdowns and three interceptions with a 78.4 passer rating.

"I think being able to win those football games helped our team and put to rest some of those streaks we had going," Stanton said. "It's nice to be able to have your name attached to that."

Stanton said getting an opportunity to win those games in 2010 reaffirmed to him that he can help a team win.

"I'm trying to sit down and really see what teams' interests are," he said. "I understand that being a back-up quarterback, you have to be a guy that's not necessarily going to get a lot of reps, but has to know the offense and know the system.

"Having a full offseason, I'd like to think that I can go into a place and learn a system and prove my worth on that team and my value that I belong there and get a chance to play."

Hill will also be a free agent starting March 13, but said after the season that he'd like to be back. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is on record saying he'd like Hill back, too.

That leaves Stanton as the No. 3 quarterback heading into next season and that's not an ideal situation for him.

"We'd like to have him back," Mayhew said of Stanton during last week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

"I don't know that I have an expectation. I do think that as a professional athlete he does want to get more of an opportunity to play and so he's going to pursue that and look into that but we'd definitely like to have him back and we discussed that with his agent."

Stanton said it would be tough to leave Michigan because of the relationships he's built, but that it might be time.

"My career didn't start off the way I wanted it to but I knew when Matthew showed up that he was the future and he has a promising future," Stanton said.

"If I can be a part of it, great, but if it's time for me to move on and go elsewhere, then I'm going to leave Detroit with a good taste in my mouth and know that I did everything in my power to try and improve."