Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that the New England Patriots had traded for now-former Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen. The Patriots traded a fourth-round pick and received Allen and a sixth-round pick in return. Ironically, the Patriots traded the exact same thing for Martellus Bennett last season, who will probably now lend the team a compensatory pick after his eventual departure.
Speaking of Martellus Bennett, lets all give him a little golf clap. He was outspoken and natural during his entire season as a Patriot, but did not distract the team towards an eventual Super Bowl victory. After it was reported Bennett wanted $9 million per year "or so" no one truly thought he would be back. I don't begrudge the man for cashing out, but his next team is in for a world of hurt for obvious reasons. Unless something unforeseen happens, such as trading Rob Gronkowski, it appears as if Bennett has played his last game in a Patriots uniform.
Rob Gronkowski is now at the center of a whole lot of attention as he nurses that ailing back of his after missing another large chunk of a season. In contrast to past seasons, the Patriots were able to win the Super Bowl without Gronk, and may have convinced themselves that the All-Pro tight end is not worth the headache. However, at such an affordable price, the Patriots won't be moving on from Gronk until the burdens outweigh the costs.
While the Patriots now have two very good tight ends on their roster (sorry, Mike Williams), I am hoping they still explore the possibility of drafting one in the upcoming draft. According to our draft expert, Geoffrey Godfrey, this year's tight end class is one of the deepest we have seen in years and the Patriots could get a legitimate player in the mid-to-late rounds.
Now, can we please talk about the player the Patriots just got? I mean, look at the title of this article? Dwayne Allen is an extremely solid player, plain and simple. At 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, many would think that he isn't a complete player. However, that is not the case at all. While Allen is one of the better run blocking tight ends you will see in the NFL, he can also catch some passes. I have been watching film on the 27-year-old Clemson product and was amazed at the speed and separation Allen was able to generate while being 255 pounds. Furthermore, Allen is a legitimate threat in the end zone, converting just under 50% of his receptions for touchdowns.
The main concern for Allen is and always will be his work ethic and durability. After a great 2012 season, Allen battled serious injuries in 2013 and 2014 before signing a four-year, $29.4 million extension on March 7, 2016. Thats right, he just signed the freakin' deal. Essentially, the Patriots will be paying Allen $10 million dollars for the next two seasons, as his cap hit in the third year is insane. At that point, the Patriots will either work out a restructure, or simply find another tight end.
I love this deal for the Patriots. I believe they have finally realized that they need a second tight end on the roster that is a borderline #1 tight end in case of an injury to Rob Gronkowski. Furthermore, if Gronk is healthy, a deadly two-tight end set is something Tom Brady loves to play with, dating back to the days of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots were able to get younger and cheaper at the tight end position, while not losing all that much talent. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a busy offseason for the Patriots.