INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Quarterback Drew Stanton is closing the book on New York.
Four days after his brief, twisted odyssey with the Jets ended in a trade to the Colts, Stanton told Indianapolis reporters he was looking forward to working with new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, learning a new system and perhaps even getting a chance to fight for playing time.
Most of all, he’s just happy to find a new home.
“It’s interesting the way it works. The circumstances change every single day with the dynamics involved in this league,” Stanton said.
Few players have endured stranger tales than Stanton.
It all started when the Colts released Peyton Manning on March 7. Some thought the Jets would be among the favorites to land the only four-time MVP in league history, but when the Jets were eliminated from the Manning sweepstakes, the Jets signed Stanton to a one-year, $1.25 million contract to back up incumbent Mark Sanchez.
When Manning decided to sign with Denver last week, things changed again.
The Jets immediately jumped into trade talks for Tim Tebow, the Broncos’ starter in 2011, and landed the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner last week in a trade. That move put the dismayed Stanton back on the market, and on Friday, the Colts traded for the career backup who spent his first four NFL seasons in Detroit.
“It was a domino effect or almost circular in the fact that everybody was flipping places and moving over one,” Stanton said. “There was a diagram that my wife found online of arrows going to all four of us in different quadrants with us moving over and shuffling around. It’s ironic that something like that would go on in that magnitude. It’s not surprising by any means either.”
The move fills a much-needed hole.
Though team owner Jim Irsay has repeatedly said he plans to use the No. 1 draft pick on Manning’s successor, presumably either Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck or Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, the Colts were desperately looking for veteran help.
Stanton and Trevor Vittatoe are the only quarterbacks on Indy’s current roster.
And with Luck or Griffin expected to join those two next month, Stanton understands what he’ll be asked to do.
“It’s a unique situation I think, especially with a new coach and (general manager),” Stanton said. “They thought enough to trade for me, and I’m really excited about the opportunity that exists here. Obviously, that first overall pick is going to be a quarterback, so, it’s just a matter of getting in there, getting a good foundation laid down and trying to help that kid out.”
Stanton isn’t the only new Colts player looking for a fresh start.
Indy also signed free-agent receiver Donnie Avery on Friday. The once-promising receiver hasn’t been the same since missing the 2010 season with a torn ACL. He played in Tennessee last fall, catching just three passes for 45 yards and one TD.
Avery thinks he can jump start his career in Indy.
“I just feel like things take a turn and like I say, I look at the positive outcome coming to the Colts,” Avery said. “When I was in St. Louis the (offensive coordinator) drafted me, him and the head coach got fired. Another coach came in, another (offensive coordinator) came in and they were looking to run the ball first and throw it to the chains to get the first down. They really weren’t looking for a deep threat. I feel like it is a great opportunity now.”
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