Breaking Down Dwayne Allen’s New 4-Year Contract
On Monday evening, Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen agreed to a new 4-year, $29.4M extension with the team, which will essentially make him one of the highest paid tight ends in football:
Allen was clearly under-utilized last season along with Coby Fleener. The 4th-year tight end finished with just 16 receptions for 109 receiving yards and a touchdown, as he was largely called upon to in-line block in order to help a struggling Colts offensive line–rather than a receiver:
That being said, Allen’s exceptional ability to both catch and block is a rare commodity in today’s tight end world, which often features glorified oversized wide receivers at the position.
If the Colts had let him hit the open market, given a weak tight end draft class and a lot of needy teams at the position, it’s very likely that Allen could’ve landed an equally lucrative contract elsewhere–including contending teams such as the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers:
So how exactly does Allen’s new 4-year extension shake-up among his counterparts at the tight end position? (via contract numbers provided by Spotrac).
Allen barely squeaks into the Top 10 as far as the total value of his contract is concerned.
Critics will point out that he’s missed 21 combined games over the past 3 seasons and that his durability is a major concern–having battled hip and ankle injuries in the past.
They’ll point out that New England Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski is making a meager $9M per year compared to Allen’s $7.35M annually. However, it’s not Allen’s fault that Gronkowski is criminally underpaid.
Allen’s new $7.35M annual salary is right around young comparable tight ends such as Charles Clay ($7.6M) and Kyle Rudolph ($7.3M). Therefore, it’s hard to have too much of a problem with his freshly inked deal.
Specifically, Allen just turned 26 years old in February and may not even have reached his full NFL potential–something that it appears the Colts are clearly banking on. His new contract appears to be in-line with his current worth in the NFL’s market for tight ends.
His durability remains a major concern–yes, and he’s clearly coming off a down season–much like the rest of the Colts offense.
However, he’s just one season removed from a year in which he caught 29 receptions for 395 receiving yards and a whopping 8 touchdown receptions. Not to mention, ProFootballFocus (subscription) rated him as the 9th best tight end overall in football in 2014 with a +8.1 grade overall.
Allen has youth and upside still in his favor. When one factors that in with his unique skill-set at the position, and it appears to be a fairly reasonable contract by the Colts all things considered–especially compared to some of his highly paid tight end contemporaries.