Moving on from Heap

Posted by Darren Urban on December 4, 2012 – 1:15 pm

It sounded so good, the idea of bringing former Arizona State star Todd Heap back home to play for the Cardinals. It kind of came out of nowhere during those crazy first days of training camp during the lockout-induced sign-fest every team was involved with in 2011. At the time, it seemed like a nice extra piece, although by then the Cards had already signed veteran Jeff King to be their blocker/lead tight end and drafted Rob Housler to develop into the key receiving tight end. Heap, it looked like, would buy time for Housler to develop.

And when Heap played, it made sense. He just didn’t play enough because of injuries, and Tuesday Heap was cut.

Heap played in just 10 of 16 games last season because of a bad hamstring. He played in the first two games this season before hurting his knee. How Heap saw his comeback and how the team saw his comeback certainly didn’t seem to mesh. He missed eight games officially with the knee injury, but the last two games he could have played and yet was left inactive. That was the writing on the wall.

Letting him go at this point won’t make a huge impact. He hasn’t been playing anyway and Housler has been an effective pass catcher, although it can be argued Heap’s blocking — and he was never known as a great blocker — is superior to Housler, who is still a work-in-progress at that part of the game. Heap (below in New York this weekend, next to media relations guru Chris Melvin) was also on the last year of his contract and he wasn’t going to be coming back, so this just ends his time a month earlier that it would have ended anyway. (For those thinking the Cards save money, they don’t. Heap is a veteran and since he was on the roster to begin the season, his salary, what’s left of the $1.15 million he was getting this season, was guaranteed.)


Posted in Blog | 49 Comments »

49 Responses to “Moving on from Heap”

  1. By Dean Kennedy on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Well played,Heaper, I salute you! Looking for one last payday before retirement and you sold your services to your hometown team bidding against itself and always looking to add ASU alumni to the roster to snap up a few extra ticket sales. Then you promptly punched out in week two of both seasons, only to be listed as “questionable” for several weeks in a row, only to return to help when the games no longer mattered. Don’t forget to pay your agent his well-deserved share.

  2. By donttakelosses on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Fare thee well.. he was a stud when he played.

  3. By phillycards on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    From brian st pierre to tod heap. It never worked out.there is something wrong with the relationship of coach and player. Inconsistency.

    when numerous players decide to not resign with a coach fresh off a sb apperance there is a problem.boldin dansby rolle ect And kerry rhodes cancels out any good with time missed and the draft picks he cost
    Was bert berry forced out? Breaston?
    Trying to rid the team of dennys mark means whiz should forfiet salary as well.
    Coach whis personal issues kept us from dominance not rod graves.
    The jets had control of their huddles at the games end as they had a player fall on the 1 last week to run clock.
    Our coach had not relayed anything to our players because they were arguing amonst themselves.

    Its not that we never saw signs of this. We all were so high off the sb we took our eyes off the stove. Now the food is rotten.

  4. By MIKE G on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope you are good. I kind of thought the Card’s would have released him earlier in the year. Heap has been really a disappointment for the Card’s. He just cannot get on the field or he will not get on the field. He provided no leadership or fire and set a bad example for the young players on offense. Good move—- time to move on. Any player that does not want to play — it is time to move on. Some players in their twilight of their career just stick around for a paycheck and he is a perfect example of such a player. Hey Darren–what is the
    status on Jeff King’s contract??? Years left???

  5. By Darren Urban on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: King contract

    King is signed through 2013.

  6. By Patrick Eagan on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    smart move by cardinals. The ravens realized it too. He can’t stay healthy anymore. Housler is the better tight end anyway.

  7. By Rufus on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Your last sentence explains why Heap had little incentive to quickly return from injury.

  8. By brad oneill on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    so the cardinals have returned to the strategy of not giving a crap about the fans. Hey seasons over, we have all kinds of problems and the one we choose to address is we are going to go ahead and cut a fan favorite who is playing behind two people that are doing just fine so we can get a new third stringer on the roster?

    Come on Cardinals now you are just rubbing our noses in how little you care about fan player relationships. You dumped Breaston in similar circumstances,(though just benched him then released after season) I realize todd has had a rough go of it but come on.

    I’ve had it with the way this team operates. you need better management. I like graves I think the issue is elsewhere but come on.

  9. By Dynosoar on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    At TE I like Heap, King and Housler about equally. Would’ve loved to see Heap play more, but injuries are unfortunately a very real part of this game (as we all have seen this year.)

    I’m a Volunteer fan and so I feel about all Florida teams and that Tide from Alabama about the same as I do the Cowboys. Having said that…

    I’m with johnthedraftguy, I really liked what I saw from Eddie Lacy against Georgia last Saturday. He’d improve our offense.

    We only need a couple of positions filled (and a lot of players healed) to be SB contenders. RB, T, and a QB that can consistently throw above 60% completions. Looks like we may need a C as well.

    I probably wouldn’t do much with the defense this next season.

    Draft Lacy at RB, get two solid tackles to compliment Massey and the kid from the “but who have they played” Boise State, a QB who will hit 60% of throws and an OC who will do for our offense what Horton did for our defense and we have the title.

  10. By Dynosoar on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Well, we’ve had our eight losses, so I’m now looking to next season. I hear a lot of replacing Whizenhunt with Horton. Ray has said he wants a SB ring as a DC before he becomes a head coach. I’m all for that.

    No one here will be surprised when I say I like Coach Whizenhunt. As I look at what’s been done in FA and the draft over the last four years, I see a dynasty being built and dynasties aren’t built overnight.

    I want to see him succeed and believe he is doing all he can. There are a lot of pieces to winning that are outside a coach’s power. (More than a coach’s succeess, I want to see the Cardinals have success.)

    Besides, who would you replace him with? I’d rather see a real good OC come in. While Haley is a known, I’d want someone else. Bring in one of the Kelly’s to be our OC. If we did this, then we’d lose them and Horton in a year or two to Head Coaching jobs and Whizenhunt would again be praised by everyone.

    (I know Brian Kelly is a defense man, but he’s been a head coach more than a defense coach. Look what he did for Cincinnati and now for Notre Dame.) He probably won’t be in the running for our OC, he’ll be an NFL head coach next year. Then pursue Chip Kelly. I also know he wants a National Championship before he moves onto the NFL, but I think he was shown two weeks ago that that isn’t going to happen unless he moves to the SEC. (I know, tin foil cap is strapped on tight.)

    I want Fitzgerald to have a SB ring wearing Cardinals red and really feel Whizenhunt’s overall plan is a draft and FA period away from the beginning of a dynasty.

  11. By cardsfan79 on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    With Coach Whisenhunt blaming much of the team’s offensive problems Sunday on the wide receivers’ poor route running and now with Heap’s pass-catching ability not coming back, is there any chance the team will look to bring back any of the wide receivers the team released in preseason such as Demarco Sampson or Stephen Williams?

  12. By Darren Urban on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    cardsfan79 —

    RE: WR

    I don’t expect another WR, not with guys like Floyd and Byrd there to get playing time first.

  13. By erik on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Nice! Free up a roster spot for Max Hall to come back! 😉

  14. By Goodz in PHX 17 on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    So Heap was only signed to fill space for 2 seasons to let Housler develop? If thats true and assuming he knew that, why would he even sign here if he wasnt going to be around for very long?

    Guess Heaps just washed up for good, seeing how the league plays the injury card I dont see him signing long term with any other team.

  15. By Peter in Canada on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    This is just the latest in a series of signing players who are beyond their sell-by date. The team never gets their moneys worth. Porter, Faneca and Heap were expected to produce a lot but did little. There really was a buyer beware attached to these players when their previous clubs let them go. That was just like the old SDS days where Arizona was condidered the elephant’s graveyard for old players.

    Your comment about Housler is most informative. He was brought in as a player who was a good pass catcher who did not block. Now, in his third season it appears he still can’t block. It makes it very difficult to have a running game with a tight end who can’t block.

  16. By Scott H on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Did anyone really know that Todd Heap was here at all??? yeah, I know Cardinals fans knew that. Outside of that circle, I’m guessing that 50% of any random group of football fans probably thought Heap was not playing anymore. And how could you blame them? What has he done???

    Here’s what Heap represented to me – the inexplicable logic behind acquiring THREE TE’s in one off-season ( Heap / King / Housler ) when the Cardinals probably use the TE position less than anyone else in the league. And the bargain basement philosophy that has been too prevalent during the last several FA periods.

    I’m guessing that our next “big” TE acquisition will be Heath Miller – about 3 years from now. By that time, he’ll be everything we look for in our FA’s – he’ll be an ex-Steeler and have basically nothing left in the tank. Perfect!

  17. By truths4all on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Heap is now free to sign with the Patriots and go to the Super Bowl again.

  18. By Mary bone on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    So sorry to read this, with the way things have been going we can use all the “feel good” stories/players we can muster up. Perhaps they should let The Grimms, Miller, McNutly and The Whiz go…Ray Horton for head coach…Good luck to you Todd, we will miss you.

  19. By Jesus on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    about time, that was a waste of money.

    acctually watching this ofense is a waste.

    Dockett didn’t even want to watch this ofense.

    Defense is lights out love to watch them play, but the other side of the ball
    brings tears to watch them waste such a talent as Fitz, and to watch them waste the best defense that we have put up.

    Fire someone already! and know Heap is not the answer, he should have been cut long ago along with the guy holding on to him so long.

  20. By Dynosoar on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Not including the Hall of Fame Game, we were 1-3, 25% wins.

    The season so far we are 4-8, 33% wins. If we win out, we’ll be 50%, if we lose out we’ll be 25%.

    I really don’t want to see our pre-season record be an accurate reflection of our regular season record.

  21. By BIG RED on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Well said Phillycards, I agree with everything you said. Couldn’t have said it any better.

  22. By cardsalltheway on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    “media relations guru Chris Melvin”

    Does he tell the Cardinals Underground to not finish sentences like “If the Cardinals lose then…?”

  23. By Patrick Eagan on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren… Any idea when Alex Smith’s contract ends in San Francisco?

  24. By Darren Urban on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Patrick —

    RE: Alex Smith

    He is under contract with the Niners for next season.

  25. By Cheese on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply


    In the last two years, between Beanie, Williams, Heap and Kolb all being perpetually injured (and all of those guys being perpetually injured for more than the last two years), do you think the Cardinals have learned their lesson not to center their offense around players who can’t be depended upon because they seemingly always have serious problems staying healthy?


  26. By Darren Urban on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: injured players

    I’m pretty sure the Cards aren’t trying to collect injured players.

  27. By Campbells on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    What’s the point? Too late in the season to benefit from it. We’re stuck with Housler and King. Both run like slugs. King can block, and Housler is too small to block. Let’s find a big guy that can block, and make big plays after the catch.

  28. By Credit Card on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve got it! The other 31-teams are simply smarter than us.

  29. By Seth on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    As an ASU graduate I’m rather ashamed at how he abused the system to his advantage. It became clear a few weeks ago that he had no intent to rush back and he was showing up to pick up a paycheck and getting by on his big name. I appreciate what he did for my Devils but am rather disappointed by his actions as a Cardinal.

  30. By Red cards on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Sweet we made the week 13 shame report good job whiz

  31. By Cheese on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply


    Even though you’re response is pretty condescending, do you not realize that the 2011 off-season looks EXACTLY like they were trying to collect injured players… or was Kolb not injured several times the previous year? Or what about Stew Bradley who was one year removed from an ACL surgery and had never gotten back in previous form… or going out and getting Todd Heap who had major injury problems during the second half of his career. i mean… they even tried to sign Braylon Edwards, who’s had injury problems. Even their second round draft pick Ryan Williams in 2011 was coming off an injury plagued career and what happened with all of those guys? Oh yeah… Kolb missed half the season. Heap missed MORE than half the season. Bradley was so awful he could literally never get in the game and oh.. yeah… Ryan Williams missed the entire season.

    Now, seeing how disasterous all those guys were with injuries (which could have been seen from a mile away), did the team do anything to shore those positions up? Uh… no, they depended on them AGAIN and what’s happened? let’s see… Kolb’s missed half the season, Todd Heap was just cut from the team because he couldn’t stay healthy, Bradley STILL can’t get on the field and Ryan Williams is… you guessed it… out for the year again. oh, and you can throw in depending on Beanie (who’s constantly injured and was coming off knee surgery) who went on IR, and Toler who was depended upon to lock down the number 2 CB slot even though he was coming off an ACL and has been average at best in the secondary

    So, tell me… instead of the smug answer above, do you believe the Cardinals will continue to go out and seek damaged goods in FA and depend on players who are constantly injured or have they finally learned their lesson from the last two years?


  32. By Darren Urban on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Injury question

    Wait a second — you asked a loaded question in which, regardless what I say, you already have strong feelings about anyway and aren’t really needing an answer for, and I’m the one being condescending?

  33. By jason marcus on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    Heap = loss

  34. By inthecards87 on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    So when is Whiz going to be released? I mean he is suffering from some kind of brain injury and is refusing to take his medication because he is quickly losing his grip and the notion of how to play football week to week…

    Ok jokes aside as a Cards fan I have no ill will against Whiz and he did help us get to the SB for the only time ever but let’s be honest that was pretty much all Kurt Warner / Larry Fitzgerald / Todd Haley….Whiz leaned on that and is now being exposed as a mediocre coach at best. And his taking personal issue with players *cough* Leinart *cough* because they aren’t ”his guys” deeply limits the talent extent we have. Denny Green was a terrible coach….but he could draft with the best of them. That is just fact. Whizenhunt can’t even get that right… (with a few exceptions here and there…)

    Yes I know Leinart is not the QB we thought he was (haha) but he never really got a chance to lead the system and it was apparent that Whiz had it out for him from day one. I bet we’d all be happy to see that #7 taking snaps right about now…guess we can always try it again with Matt Barkley next year :-/

    But the main problem is (and always has been) Rod Graves….he needs to go along with whatever coaching changes happen next. New blood and new ideals. Tee Bidwell family has stepped up and put money into the team so it isn’t on the owners side that things are faltering…they do need to step up and get some new people involved and part ways with Graves and Co.

  35. By cardsalltheway on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    Red cards,

    Why don’t you provide us with links when they are SO embarrassingly SHAMEFUL…?

    That does it, we need a new coach!

  36. By Patrick Eagan on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    @Darren… What do you think of the idea of him possibly coming here?

  37. By clssylssy on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    Heap was a fan favorite in Baltimore and he has been a favorite of mine since we signed him. As noted, his play against the Patriots was significant and contributed to our win. He has been a solid addition to the Cards as a veteran and I am sorry to see him cut; after 10 years playing with a physical team like the Ravens and then with the Cards offense, it is not surprising that he has had injuries–at least he was’t signed for $67M! For the money we paid him,he was a good acquisition and still is better than anybody we currently have in at TE. Sorry to see him go, but much appreciation and good wishes to the HEAP, HEAP, HEAP!….(caw, caw, caw:) )

  38. By BIG RED on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    Whiz gave the Hint that Lindley is starting again this week. Wow, how stupid! Well, good luck Lindley, smells like burn toast. I would have perfer kolb, so that wouldv’e been the end of him. No more free rides.

  39. By brad oneill on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    Seth that is ridiculous, He was injured it happens in this game if you knew anything about the man you would know he isnt a slacker. The comments from these people saying Heap was lazy or just in it for a check are disgusting. He may not have come back as fast as the Cardinals wanted but if you look at his stats while he was in there he was one of the best receivers we had pass per pass.

  40. By Patrick Eagan on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    I think Campbells makes an intresting point.

  41. By azqfan on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply


    It is obvious YOU are the one who is being condescending.

    Do us all a favor and NOT return to this site.

    It is NOT Darren’s job to validate your comments.

  42. By Patrick Eagan on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    nicely said azqfan

  43. By MikeinMesa on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply


    Your comments are out of line and not based in reality. And for those of you who thought Heap should have come back quicker, his injury was worse than the Cards were letting the fans know.

  44. By Cheese on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply


    How was my initial question a loaded one? When a team in back to back seasons (and actually many more than that… does depending on Gerald Hayes ring a bell), is it not fair to ask if you think they’ve learned their lesson? It’s a serious concern that this organization doesn’t seem to learn from their mistakes. Your response was pretty much what I expected and your second response was laughable.

    But if you want to play Mouth of Sauron and captain of the good ship lollypop, that’s your perogative. But it was a serious question and one in which they apparently ignored last off-season and I’m hoping they don’t ignore again.

    Azqfan… why not direct your anger at our organization’s utter patheticness instead of at it’s fellow fan, who I assure you is just as miserable this season as you are.


  45. By Darren Urban on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Question

    Your question was, “Have they learned their lesson?”

    To me, that’s loaded. You obviously feel they have screwed up. I’m not sure how I answer that. It’s like the infamous “Have you stopped beating your wife?” You can’t say no, and if you say yes, you imply you were doing it in the first place. Same thing.

  46. By Tbazz116 on Dec 6, 2012 | Reply

    It is time for Wizz to go,,,Todd Heap is a victim of wizz ego as was Duece Latui..Duece is kicking butt at Ten…If your hurt your hurt..It was a cheap shot that put him out…But if you dont do what wizz says you are gone..Even if you can help the team..

  47. By Scott H on Dec 6, 2012 | Reply

    OMG, I love these people who are claiming that Todd Heap was a fan favorite…Really??? For doing what, exactly? I prefer to reserve the title of fan favorites for players who actually contributed ON THE FIELD in addition to anything else they may have done.


  48. By Eric Y on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    Peace out, Guy. What a waste. Beanie plays injured every day. He’s out there hurting and this guy needs an entire season to get over what exactly? A knee? A hammy? Baltimore bitterness? As a Wildcat (but a Cardinals fan first) I have no problem saying goodbye to this dude. What a terrible way to end a great career. And what a huge let down for the Cardinals.

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