INDIANAPOLIS -- Dwayne Allen was supposed to be the answer at tight end for the Indianapolis Colts. He had all the tools to be an every-down tight end because he could block and catch when the Colts selected him in the third round of the 2012 draft.
Former general manager Ryan Grigson liked Allen so much that he chose him over Coby Fleener last offseason. But just like Grigson, Allen is no longer part of the organization after he was traded to New England for a fourth-round pick Wednesday. The Colts also sent a sixth-round draft pick to the Patriots as part of the deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The trade saves the Colts $2.9 million in salary-cap space.
Injuries -- 23 games missed the past four seasons -- a lack of consistency and the re-signing of fellow tight end Jack Doyle to a three-year contract Tuesday night made Allen expendable.
Doyle was arguably the best tight end on the roster last season. In a matter of 15 months, Doyle has gone from being the team’s No. 3 tight end to their most reliable one. He signed a three-year contract that could be for as much as $21 million.
Doyle was second on the Colts in receptions (59), targets (75) and yards (584) last season. Allen had 35 receptions on 52 targets for 406 yards last season after having just 16 catches for 109 yards in 2015. Allen signed a four-year, $29.4 million in the spring of 2016.
Another factor that allowed new Colts general manager Chris Ballard to trade Allen is the depth at tight end in this year’s draft and because Erik Swoope has officially made the transition from being a college basketball player to an NFL player. Swoope, who had never played organized football when the Colts signed him in May 2014, had 15 receptions for 297 yards after spending most of his first two seasons on the practice squad.