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Colts' Dwayne Allen after signing extension: I want to be the best

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Dwayne Allen gets four-year extension with Colts (2:06)

ESPN Colts reporter Mike Wells says that Dwayne Allen's new deal with the Colts is based on the tight end's potential rather than his performance. (2:06)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Dwayne Allen admits there were times he thought his time with the Indianapolis Colts was finished.

The constant injuries the past three seasons and diminished role in the passing game led to frustration for the tight end. He talked like a player who thought he would be wearing a different uniform next season when he addressed the media at the end of the season.

But a conversation with the coaching staff, front office and a whole lot of money thrown his way caused Allen to sign a four-year, $29 million contract extension Monday night.

“The money itself wasn’t the deciding factor, but their willingness to pay what they thought I deserved spoke volumes in their confidence in me and also in their want to have me back with the team,” Allen said Tuesday. “At the end of the year it was one of those feelings where we were losing, I wasn’t being used and I felt like I was the only who thought that was a problem, and so you have that feeling that you are not wanted and you don’t belong. But of course with their offer, they said otherwise.”

Allen’s confidence in himself hasn’t changed despite missing 21 games because of injuries the past three seasons. His goal is still to become one of the best tight ends in the NFL. He told coach Chuck Pagano he planned the be the best tight end in team history the day after the Colts selected him in the third round of the draft in 2012. And he said it again Tuesday.

“Through my first four years I was not able to come close to scratching that promise, but with this new deal and in the next four years going forward I’m going to have the opportunity to make good on that promise,” Allen said. “I knew that the glimpses, which were glimpses because of my absences on the field due to injuries and other circumstances, I knew that even with those glimpses I was able to show enough flashes of the player I can be.

"Going forward, it’s on me to make sure I’m healthy and I’m on the field and I’m performing at a high level...My goal and what I told the coaching staff and (general manager) Ryan Grigson (on Monday) was 'I want to be the best.'"

Allen said there’s a “fire in my belly” because he knows some question the Colts giving him so much money after his injury problems and lack of production last season. He had the worst season of his four-year NFL career in 2015, as he only had 16 receptions on 29 targets for 109 yards and a touchdown. He was used more as a blocker instead of pass-catching tight end.

Allen’s role in the offense will likely be different under offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski next season. Chudzinski didn’t use his offensive system last season because he replaced the fired Pep Hamilton after Week 8.

“I did have an opportunity to speak with my offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski,” Allen said. “He discussed my role going forward in the offense and me having an opportunity to play the tight end position. Again, the tight end position comes with a lot of different tasks. Some of it will include blocking premier pass rushers, but hopefully a lot of it will include me blocking for runs and helping open up lanes for whoever is running the ball and also catching passes to convert first downs and touchdowns.”