Todd Heap Prefers To Be Every-Down Player

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 27: Tight end Todd Heap #86 of the Arizona Cardinals during the preseason NFL game against the San Diego Chargers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 27, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap enters the final year of his two-year contract with Arizona and is hopeful that 2012 is a much better experience than 2011. Last season, once again hampered by injury, he ended the season with only 24 receptions. If healthy this season (which is always a big if for Heap), he will be part of a tight end corps that could be very, very good. He joins Jeff King and Rob Housler.

However, as OTAs come to a close and minicamp is set to begin on Tuesday, Heap would prefer a larger role than what he had a season ago. In speaking with azcardinals.com writer Darren Urban, he expressed a preference to being an every-down player.

No doubt, this is motivated in part by the fact that it is a contract year and he would like to get another multi-year deal. However, he recognizes the need to prove himself every single season. In reference to getting cut before last season by the Baltimore Ravens, he said, "I thought I had a contract going into last year but obviously it was a contract year the year before that."

It is true. In the NFL, because of the nature of contracts (they aren't guaranteed), players can't rest on their laurels.

Let's assume that Heap stays healthy. He is versatile enough to line up wide in what would be four receiver sets. The Cardinals like to throw the ball. How much can we expect from him? He joked last year he needed 75 catches to be happy. Can he reach that milestone?

Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.

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