Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 12/4/12
TEMPE, Ariz. Todd Heap wont get a chance to write a final, storybookchapter to his football career in Arizona. The Cardinals released the injury-plagued local icon on Tuesday, ending his tenure with the Cardinals just shortof two seasons -- and well short of expectations.The Cards replaced Heap with tight end Kory Sperry, a former San DiegoCharger who was released at the end of training camp. Heap finished his Arizona tenure with just 32 catches for 377 yards and one touchdown in 12 games.Heap, who starred at Arizona State and nearby Mountain View High School in Mesa, signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals in 2011, and there was hope hecould provide a safety valve for newly acquired quarterback Kevin Kolb. He came home after playing 10 seasons withBaltimore, where he was the Ravens career leader in receiving touchdowns (41)and was second in receptions (467) and receiving yards (5,492). In 2010, Heaphad 40 catches for 599 yards and five TDs, plus a franchisepostseason-record 10 receptions for 108 yards against Kansas City.But injuries derailed him in 2011, and he took a 1 million paycut in theoffseason, trimming his deal to 1.15 million for 2012. After missing six games last season, Heap looked like his old self again inWeek 2 at New England. He had five receptions for 62 yards to help the Cardsupset the Patriots. But late in the game, on an important reception, he was hitout of bounds and injured by Patriots safety Steve Gregory. Gregory was laterfined for the play.Heap called the injury a sprain of his posterior cruciate ligament (knee), andhe never played another game for the Cardinals. He was inactive for eight gamesdue to the injury, but he was scratched from the lineup the past two games bycoach Ken Whisenhunt, despite having returned to full practice. Hes got to show us in practice that hes full speed enough to be able togo, and that hasnt been the case, Whisenhunt said last week. There were reports earlier this season that Whisenhunt was upset with Heap fornot returning sooner, reports that he had even called him out for it. Whetherit was inability or unwillingness to play through pain, the recent healthyscratches made it apparent that Heap was no longer in the Cards plans --particularly with the development of tight end Rob Housler.Heap was cautious about discussing the injury or his relationship withWhisenhunt last week. Theres always a lot more that goes into any injury, but its not for me tocomment on, he said. Its not for me to raise as an issue. I just have to letpeople think what they think and worry about what I can do.Heap admitted that the innuendos about him being soft hurt.Its hard to watch that to hear it and be a part of it but it comes withthe territory, he said. For me to comment on it or say what I think serves nopurpose. Even doing interviews, its hard to comment on it and tell peopleexactly whats going on.After 12 seasons, it is entirely possible Heaps career could be over. Butanother team still could claim him, and he made it clear last week that hedlike another chance.I dont really give that evaluation until the season is over and done with,so theres no point in speculating, he said. But I definitely dont want tofinish my career on a year like this.Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
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