Report: Colts Trade Tight End Dwayne Allen to the Patriots
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and multiple league sources, the Indianapolis Colts are trading tight end Dwayne Allen and a 6th round pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a fourth round pick.
Following Jack Doyle‘s new 3-year, $19 million deal, the Colts presumably deemed that Allen was expendable, and that Doyle will now serve as the team’s primary tight end going forward:
It’s still a surprising move for the Colts given that the Patriots are the franchise’s arch-nemesis, and there’s been a heated rivalry between the two teams in recent seasons, which was reignited by the national ‘Deflate-Gate’ controversy.
In New England, Allen will presumably serve as the second tight end in their two tight end sets, essentially replacing Martellus Bennett–who may have been too rich for the Patriots blood in free agency.
The Colts will now save $2.937 million in cap space and gain a 4th round pick when the team would’ve otherwise had to lose Allen for nothing if released.
That being said, if Allen can stay healthy and become the dynamic pass catching and blocking weapon he showed at times with the Colts, it’ll obviously be a big win for the Patriots.
If you’re a Colts fan, you probably have nightmares of Allen suddenly becoming ‘Gronk Jr.’ running through your head. Even if he becomes a ‘poor man’s’ Martellus Bennett, it’s still a great trade for the Patriots given how much they feature two tight ends in their offense.
Originally a 2012 3rd round pick of the Colts, the 6’3″, 265 pound tight end had 126 receptions for 1,451 total receiving yards and 19 touchdown receptions in five seasons with the Colts.
Allen’s coming off a season in which he caught 35 receptions for 406 total receiving yards and 6 touchdown receptions.
It was just an offseason ago, where the Colts awarded Allen a 4-year, $29.4 million contract extension, but how quickly things can change.
Specifically, with Doyle’s emergence, who surpassed Allen in everything but touchdown receptions, the Colts clearly felt that having two highly paid tight ends was a luxury.
Given the holes on the defensive side of the football, as well as this being a strong draft for tight ends, it’s easy to see why the Colts may have elected to trade Allen.
Not to mention, last year’s 3rd-string tight end Erik Swoope has shown flashes as a promising receiving threat, as a converted basketball standout.
When healthy and going right, Allen has proven to be one of the more well-rounded tight ends in all of football. However, he doesn’t always play up to his physical ability and has yet to play an entire season since his rookie year in 2012.
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription), Allen was their 41st rated tight end last year with just a +54.0 grade overall compared to Doyle with a +76.0 grade overall, who was rated 16th at the position.
Outside of his 3 touchdown performance against the New York Jets last season on Monday Night Football, Allen had a fairly underwhelming season in 2016.
It’s fair to argue that Allen hasn’t really had an impact season since undergoing hip surgery following his rookie season in 2012–having had a number of lingering injuries thereafter.
It doesn’t mean that Allen can’t have a bounce back season next year. In fact, if it’s going to happen anywhere, it’ll be in New England–who have a tendency to maximize the talent and potential of their players.
However, the Colts presumably deemed that having two highly paid tight ends was a luxury that the team simply couldn’t afford going forward and opted to go with Doyle–who’s been much more reliable on a week-to-week basis in recent seasons.
Of course, the realization now is that out of their talented tight end draft class of Allen and Coby Fleener in 2012, neither player remains with the team.
Out of a talented tight end group that once featured Fleener and Allen, it’s now Doyle who rules supreme.