INDIANAPOLIS – Just when you think the you've seen it all in the NFL, the 2017 year reportedly has the Colts and Patriots doing business together.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the long-time rivals executed a trade of tight end Dwayne Allen to the New England Patriots. The deal, which cannot become official until the new league year begins on Thursday afternoon, was first reported by NFL.com.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Colts acquired New England's fourth-round pick (137th overall) for Allen and the Colts' sixth-round selection (200th overall) this year.
The Indianapolis Colts acknowledge that there have been published reports about a possible trade of Dwayne Allen. No such trade has been executed and it would be premature to speculate as to what might happen after the commencement of the new League Year, when such trades would be permitted under NFL rules.
Allen, a 2012 third-round pick, and the Colts agreed to a four-year contract last offseason.
Injuries have been a major storyline in Allen's five seasons with the Colts. After playing in all 16 games as a rookie, Allen's missed 23 contests the last four years.
Under a new contract this past season, Allen had 35 catches for 406 yards and 6 touchdowns in playing 14 games.
New England's attractiveness to Allen has been present for several years.
Prior to a 2014 meeting with the Colts, Bill Belichick said this about Allen:
"I think he's one of the best blocking tight ends we'll see." Belichick said of Allen in 2014.
2016 Stats: Jack Doyle: 59 catches, 584 yards, 5 TDs in 16 games. Dwayne Allen: 35 catches, 406 yards, 6 TDs in 14 games.
Such a trade could open up quite an opportunity for Doyle, who was re-signed on Wednesday morning.
Doyle has ascended from a backup third-string tight end in 2015 to the team's clear No. 1 tight end two years later.
Over the past couple of weeks, fans have inquired about the idea of parting ways with Allen.
Re-signing Doyle, the emergence of Mo Alie-Cox and a supposedly deep tight end draft class in 2017 are reasons such a move would make sense for the Colts.
According to the contract site Over The Cap, the trade of Allen would open up a little less than $3 million in cap space for the Colts this offseason.
*Stay tuned to Colts.com for more information on the Colts offseason.
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