BOSTON (CBS) — Roughly 24 hours prior to the opening of free agency, the Patriots are making a major splash in the trade market.
The Patriots acquired tight end Dwayne Allen from the Colts on Wednesday.
The Patriots sent the Colts a fourth-round pick, and in return they received Allen and a sixth-round pick, according to Adam Schefter.
Allen posted on Twitter that he looks forward to “earning the right to be called a New England Patriot.”
Allen, 27, caught 35 passes for 406 yards and six touchdowns last season. In his five-year career, all with Indianapolis, he’s caught 126 passes for 1,451 yards and 19 touchdowns.
In addition to Allen’s pass-catching abilities, Bill Belichick praised Allen’s blocking ability back in 2014.
“I’ve been really impressed with Allen’s blocking,” Belichick said. “I think he’s one of the best blocking tight ends that we’ll see.”
The Patriots have Rob Gronkowski under contract but are expected to lose Martellus Bennett via free agency.
The 6-foot-3, 265 pound Allen carries a $4.9 million cap hit in 2017, per Spotrac. That number gets a slight bump to $5 million in 2018 before going to $7.4 million in 2019.
Interestingly enough, Gronkowski’s somewhat confusing tweet last year about taking a pay cut came after Allen signed his deal with the Colts. Gronkowski carries a $6.75 million cap hit in 2017, a major bargain provided he remains healthy. He’ll then count for $11 million against the cap in 2018 and $12 million against the cap in 2019.
A tweet Allen sent in the immediate aftermath of DeflateGate’s birth is also likely to score him some points with Patriots fans.
The then-Colts tight ended said the Patriots could have beaten Indianapolis in the 2015 AFC Championship Game “with soap for balls.”
Allen’s current contract runs through 2019. He became expendable on the Colts after Jack Doyle caught 59 passes for 584 yards and five touchdowns last season.
More information on this story as it develops…