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Dwayne Allen Reportedly Traded to New England Patriots; Colts Receive Draft Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 11:  Dwayne Allen #83 of the Indianapolis Colts makes a catch in the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The New England Patriots acquired tight end Dwayne Allen from the Indianapolis Colts, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday. ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed the report.

According to Schefter, the Patriots sent a fourth-round draft pick to the Colts and received a sixth-rounder in addition to Allen.

The veteran tight end provided a statement on Twitter:

Former Colts linebacker Robert Mathis was surprised to see Indianapolis trading with an AFC rival:

ROBERT MATHIS The1st @RobertMathis98

WHOA!!! Traded Martellus Bennett for Dwayne Allen!!! We did business with the Pats lol ... times change ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Allen caught 35 passes for 406 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games for the Colts last year.

The trade likely means New England will opt against re-signing Martellus Bennett this offseason.

Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke applauded the Patriots' aggression:

Chris Burke @ChrisBurkeNFL

Part of why the Patriots stay so good is because Belichick doesn't treat picks like gifts from heaven. "A six? Yea, I don't effing care."

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman also praised New England's constant gamesmanship:

mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL

The Patriots don't just play chess while everyone else plays checkers. They play three dimensional chess. Like Spock.

Opting for Allen over Bennett could result in relatively significant savings for New England.ย 

According toย Spotrac, Allen is signed for three more years and carries an average cap hit of roughly $5.8 million a year.ย Spotracย estimates Bennett's market value to be $6 million annually, butย Rapoportย reported in December he turned down $7 million a year before the start of the 2016 season.

Allen doesn't have the receiving pedigree of Bennett. In 57 career games, he has caught 126 passes for 1,451 yards and 19 touchdowns. Bennett, meanwhile, has 403 career receptions for 4,287 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Allen is considered a better blocker, though, which Patriots head coach Bill Belichick noted in the past, per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss:

Mike Reiss @MikeReiss

Bill Belichick spoke highly of TE Dwayne Allen prior to '14 game vs. Colts. "I think he's one of the best blocking tight ends we'll see."

NFL Research showed how Allen is a consistent option inside the red zone as well:

NFL Research @NFLResearch

Dwayne Allen has converted 44.8 percent of his red zone targets into touchdowns since 2012 (3rd-best in NFL) https://t.co/uT1dX1qTan

Assuming Rob Gronkowski can stay healthy, Allen would be a great foil in the Patriots offense. Should Gronkowski miss time, though, it's doubtful Allen would be able to replicate Bennett's production from the 2016 campaign.

Still, the Patriots were proactive in finding Bennett's replacement, and trading for Allen now allows the team to avoid being left without a backup plan at tight end if Bennett walked in free agency.ย