INDIANAPOLIS – In a season no one saw coming from a team perspective, Dwayne Allen could say the same from an individual standpoint.
The 2015 numbers for Allen don't look like someone who played in 13 games.
29 targets, 16 catches, 109 yards, 1 touchdown, 6.8 yards per catch, 4 first downs.
Allen's receiving production in 2015 was a fraction of what he provided the team the year prior, also playing 13 games.*
50 targets, 29 catches, 395 yards, 8 touchdowns, 13.6 yards per catch, 24 first downs.*
With less third-down snaps and the Colts needing Allen to serve often as an extra blocker, 2015 did not go according to plan.
"I am very proud of my blocking ability and love the opportunity to go out there and help the team in that role (but) whenever my skillset is boxed in to just that, that's frustrates me the most," Allen said of his role in 2015, primarily being as a blocker.
The 2015 campaign for Allen came in a contract year.
When Allen was drafted in 2012, him and fellow rookie Coby Fleener were quick contributors in a nine-win turnaround.
It was always known that a time would eventually come where the Colts stood at a tight end-crossroads.
Allen or Fleener?
Those are the top tight end questions this offseason for the Colts with Allen and Fleener reaching the end of their rookie contracts.
When the Colts brass looks at Allen, the tight end knows his biggest con.
In the last three years, Allen has missed 21 games, while Fleener has played in every contest.
"When I was drafted here in 2012, I told my coach at the time I'm going to be the best tight end in the NFL," Allen says. "I haven't been able to, No. 1, stay on the field and stay healthy to accomplish that goal.
"But this year, obviously, I wasn't able to prove to them that I was an every down player. I would love to have the opportunity to do so."
A large factor going into whether the Colts see Allen part of their future is how they view the tight end position now.
What is Rob Chudzinski, an offensive coordinator who has found tight end success before, looking for in his tight end?
Is the allure of a multi-down option in Allen more enticing to Chud?
Or will the injury troubles for Allen force the Colts to look elsewhere at tight end?
Even with being "under utilized" in 2015, for a variety of reasons (i.e. needed in pass pro protection and missing Andrew Luck for nine games), Allen is optimistic.
"I hope by the time free agency starts (March 9) that everything is wrapped up I'm under contract with the Colts for the rest of my career and I don't have to experience free agency," the Colts' 2015 Man of the Year says.
"I found my home and hope to stay here a while."