That was the question all last season for the Colts because they knew it was going to be a long shot to keep both tight ends, who were selected in the 2012 draft, once free agency started. Allen is the more versatile of the two, but Fleener was more dependable because he wasn't injured as often during his four seasons in Indianapolis.
Wells: I completely agree with the Colts' decision to re-sign Allen (four years, $29 million) and let Fleener, who signed a five-year, $36 million deal with New Orleans, walk. Allen has missed 21 games in the past three seasons, but you have to remember 15 of those games occurred in the 2013 season. He missed three games each in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
And don’t read too much into Allen having only 16 receptions and one touchdown last season. His role was completely different. He helped out in other areas that don't show up on the final stat sheet. Allen was basically a third offensive tackle because the Colts needed him as an extra blocker to try to protect their quarterbacks. Blocking isn’t a strong suit of Fleener’s. Having Allen as an extra blocker meant he wasn’t a significant part of the passing game, which he admitted frustrated him some last season.
Allen’s role in the offense should be different next season. The Colts have made improving their offensive line a priority, and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski will make Allen more of a focal point next season. Chudzinski wasn’t running his offense last season. He was mainly running former offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s system after moving into that role in Week 9.