The Indianapolis Colts backup told Newsday's Bob Glauber that when he signed his one-year, $1.25 million contract back in March, the Jets told him that he would be in the mix to start some games for the team.
"Had Mark [Sanchez] struggled, they said I'd have a chance to play," Stanton said.
"So there was no better opportunity than that, and I was excited about
Although Sanchez received his massive contract extension just days before Stanton was signed, it is clear that the Jets were in the market for a contingency plan from the beginning. When Tebow arrived in New York, Stanton requested a trade to avoid competing with Tebow — and his image.
"I didn't want to be in the same [quarterback] room with Tim,
because it's difficult from the media or fan standpoint," said Stanton. "He's such a
good guy, and the perception of him makes it so difficult."
Stanton requested a trade and was moved to the Colts for a seventh-round pick two days later.
"They wanted to keep me, but I said, 'Hey, I really don't want to be a
part of that, because that's not what we agreed to,'" said Stanton. "[Jets general manager] Mike [Tannenbaum]
said, 'We're going to do right by you.' Mike acquiesced a little bit and
he said, 'Had we known Tebow would have been available, obviously we
wouldn't have said that to you.'
"But they upheld what they said, they found a good situation for me, and it's fortunate for me."
Sanchez has struggled this season and his shortcomings have been one of the most widely-discussed topics around the league. While Stanton never makes clear just how bad Sanchez would have to play before he would get a shot, it is entirely possible that Rex Ryan would have gone to his backup by this point if Tebow wasn't his only option.
Stanton does not blame the Jets, however, and says that, if given the same set of information, he would make the same decision every time.
He is rooting for his one-time teammate to turn it around. Just not against the Colts.
"I feel bad for Mark," Stanton said. "Everybody's rooting for the
backup. I'd like to see him turn it around, hopefully not this week, but
in the weeks to come."
Perhaps he'd feel a little differently if they were chanting "Drew" instead of "Tebow."