Among the many free agent moves that the Arizona Cardinals have made this offseason, they recently signed veteran tight end Todd Heap. Heap is a local product, having attended Mesa Mountain View High School and Arizona State University, but it will be the first season of his pro career not playing for the Baltimore Ravens. He played in Baltimore for 10 years. On Tuesday, he was introduced to the media for the first time as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
"It feels real good," said Heap about putting on a Cardinals hat. "Obviously I've been a Cardinals fan ever since they've been in town, so I'm excited to be back -- excited to be home."
His happiness was evident throughout the news conference, as he was smiling the entire time. He told the press that he and his wife made a list of teams he thought would be a good fit and a possibility for him to land. Of that list, Arizona "was definitely the top."
Now, historically, Arizona teams have seemed to be a sort of magnet for players in the twilight of their career. Many have not been terribly productive. Heap does not believe this will happen to him. "I've got a lot left," he explained. "I feel like I've got a lot of years in front of me. My body feels good, so I'm looking forward to see what we can accomplish."
Among the scores of players in the league, Heap worked out with Larry Fitzgerald in the offseason. How did Fitz react to the acquisition of Heap? He told Heap on the phone, "Hey, you can't be stealing my catches. i need at least 90."
Heap's reaction? "That's all right, because all I need is 75."
The addition of Heap give the Cardinals their first genuine threat at the tight end position since Jay Novachek left to become an All-Pro for the Dallas Cowboys. That threat in the middle an only help Fitz and especially Kevin Kolb, who will lead the Cardinals at quarterback.
The short offseason has been seen as a successful one for the Cardinals thus far. All that is left for them is to see that success translate into performance on the field. That is always easier said than done.