One week ago today, the New England Patriots parted ways with tight end Dwayne Allen. Allen, who spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons in New England after he was acquired via trade from the Indianapolis Colts, was scheduled to hit the team’s salary cap with $7.3 million in 2019 — a number apparently too high for the world champions’ liking given his actual contributions: he was primarily a blocker during his tenure with the Patriots.
Despite his rather one-dimensional role, however, the veteran tight end quickly generated interest on the open market with the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins all expressing interest in him — all while a return to New England on a reduced salary was reportedly also not yet off the table. However, the reunion will not happen as one of the four clubs added the 29-year old to its roster.
The Dolphins signed Allen to a two-year, $7.0 million contract earlier today, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Seeing Miami pick the veteran tight end up does not come as a surprise, considering that the club’s new head coach and offensive coordinator — Brian Flores and Chad O’Shea, respectively — both came over from the Patriots this offseason and will likely be in play on a lot of New England’s free agents.
With Allen definitively gone, the Patriots are expected to invest in a tight end during the upcoming days and the draft next month. While second-year man Ryan Izzo might be able to fill the blocking role once held by Allen, New England will likely bring in some competition — maybe even in the form of ex-Patriot Martellus Bennett, whose brother Michael Bennett was acquired by the team via trade yesterday.
Allen, meanwhile, ends his tenure in New England with a Super Bowl ring as well as 35 in-game appearances. As noted above, he served primarily as a blocker and thus finished his career with the team with a rather pedestrian stat-line of 13 catches for 113 yards and one touchdown. That being said, his contributions were still valuable — just not at the cost he was scheduled to create in 2019.