Heap leaves Ravens for hometown Cardinals

Just minutes after word broke that the Ravens had added a new face to their offense in fullback Vonta Leach, word broke that they had lost the most familiar one.

Tight end Todd Heap, who has been the face of the Ravens’ offense for much of the last decade, has signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals.

In all likelihood, the Leach deal made re-signing Heap very tough at this point. The Ravens just don’t have the cap room to bring in both a top fullback and a proven tight end right now. The cap situation could improve if a long-term deal is reached with Haloti Ngata, but GM Ozzie Newsome wanted Leach today, and that move might have cost the Ravens a chance to bring Heap back as well.

Heap was cut by the Ravens early this week in a monetarily-driven move, and the team had hoped to re-sign him at a lower price. Instead, the two-time Pro Bowler opted to head to his home state of Arizona for more money than the Ravens were willing to offer.

The Mesa, AZ native and Arizona State product has thrived in Baltimore the last 10 seasons, posting 5,492 receiving yards and catching 41 touchdown passes. Heap took numerous big hits over the years and he battled through a handful of nagging injuries, limiting him to five games in 2004, six games in 2007, and 13 games last season.

While the 31-year-old Heap’s durability at this stage of his career was sometimes questioned, his toughness never was.

With Heap gone, the Ravens’ tight end duties fall to Ed Dickson, who is entering his second year. Backing up Heap last year, Dickson started three games, making 11 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown.

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