Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener were both drafted by the Colts in 2012 to give Andrew Luck his tight ends of the future. Fast forward to 2017 and neither player is on the Colts roster. Allen was traded to the Patriots and Fleener was lost in free agency.
Last offseason, the Colts resigned Allen to a 4 year $29.4 million deal. A huge contract for a player that was struggling with injuries and consistency. The difficulties continued for Allen in the 2016-2017 season after only 35 catches and 406 yards. Luckily for the Colts, they struck gold last season by the emergence of the Indianapolis native, Jack Doyle. Doyle was a huge part of the Colts’ offense last year with 59 catches (Second behind TY Hilton with 91).
Jack Doyle and Dwayne Allen’s 2016 season in comparison.
Doyle: 59 catches, 584 yards, 5 touchdowns
Allen: 35 catches, 406 yards, 6 touchdowns (3 in one game)
Doyle was a much bigger part of the offensive scheme and showed signs of improvement throughout the season. Trading Allen creates an even bigger role for Doyle and he HAS to step up if the Colts expect to succeed next season. Luck consistently relies on his tight end to make tough catches on third down in order to keep drives alive. Colts fans will have high expectations for Doyle next year and it is up to him to fill those shoes.
A few days ago, Doyle resigned with the Colts on a 3 year deal worth $19 million. The $19 million for Doyle is a significantly greater bargain than Allen’s contract and the Colts arguably get more production. Also, moving Allen opens the door for the Colts to make a big move in free agency.
Also, with trade of Allen, Colts free up $2.9M in cap space. Still counts $3M in dead money.
— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) March 8, 2017
It would not be surprising to see the Colts make an offer to a big name in the next few weeks. Players like Dont’a Hightower (Patriots), Nick Perry (Packers), Dontari Poe (Chiefs), or Jabaal Sheard (Patriots) could be on the Colts radar. Indianapolis has desperate needs on the defensive side of the field and they cannot expect to improve strictly through this year’s draft.
Chris Ballard, the Colts’ new GM, is showing that he is not afraid to make moves after being hired a little over a month ago. He cut starting linebacker D’Qwell Jackson early in February and now he traded a highly respected tight end for next to nothing. It is hard to argue with his moves so far but Colts’ fans will want to see results. All I can say to Chris…GOOD LUCK
Photo Credit via Andy Neale