Dwayne Allen was enjoying his offseason, taking in a spring practice at his alma mater Wednesday when the tight end received word he was on the move.
Allen, training at Clemson University and scouting the 2017 Tigers, was told he was being traded from the Indianapolis Colts to the New England Patriots. Allen, who signed a four-year contract with the Colts a year ago, thought he could co-exist with fellow tight end Jack Doyle, who signed a three-year, $18.9 million contract before free agency began, but Indianapolis’ new general manager, Chris Ballard, had other plans.
“Of course, initially I was a bit shocked,” Allen said. “I knew something was going to happen. I did not know that I was going to be traded to the New England Patriots. After the initial shock wore off, then came some excitement and definitely a lot of joy.”
And why not? Allen is going from the Colts, who finished third in the AFC South with an 8-8 record, to the reigning Super Bowl champions. Allen already sounds like he’ll fit in well with his new team, and he likes what he’s heard from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in their initial conversations.
“It’s just been portraying their vision, their culture, their philosophies on what this team is about,” Allen, who’s in Foxboro, Mass., now, said. “It’s really just been refreshing to hear that they’re all about working hard and all about winning.”
Allen, too, is all about winning, no matter what it takes.
“One thing that I’ve caught on to early is Coach Belichick’s saying of, ‘The more you can do.’ I’m just about winning,” Allen said. “I want to win, and I understand that the more skills I can provide on offense, then hopefully the more mismatches can be created for myself and other players. That’s what I’m about. I’m excited to be utilized as a football player again and not be confined to any box but just to be a football player tight end.”
Allen will share a role with Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski. That’s nothing new for Allen, who previously co-existed with both Doyle and Coby Fleener. Allen, like Gronkowski, can be used as a blocker and receiver. It’s unclear if the Patriots acquired Allen to run a two-tight end offense or as Gronkowski insurance, but he has the versatility to do either.
Thumbnail photo via Matt Kryger/Indianapolis Star via USA TODAY Sports Images