In one of the most surprising moves during the beginning of free agency, the Patriots acquired tight end Dwayne Allen and a sixth round pick from the Colts in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. It seems like yesterday when dynasty owners were arguing over who was the more valuable tight end in Indianapolis between Coby Fleener and Allen – now the most valuable tight end in Indianapolis is none other than Jack Doyle as both of the once promising young pass catchers have been jettisoned from the Colts roster. The Allen trade is an interesting one from several angles. Let’s explore the players whose values have been impacted by the move.
Dwayne Allen, TE NE
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The former third round pick from Clemson just never really panned out in Indianapolis. His five-year career has featured just 126 catches, 1,451 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns in 57 games played. At 6’3″ and 265 pounds, Allen has always looked good in a uniform but failed to really produce on the field with any form of consistency. With the Patriots, he’ll have a legitimate chance to revitalize his career and make a solid impact in reality and fantasy. In the short-term, he’ll replace Martellus Bennett, who will now most certainly find a new home in free agency. However, the long-term health of Rob Gronkowski will be the key to just what kind of an opportunity Allen will eventually have with New England. If (or when, if you’re a pessimist) Gronkowski gets hurt again, Allen’s role will expand from primary blocker to primary pass catcher. As it stands, expect his ranking of TE22 to rise into the teens over the Summer. Just remember Allen’s injury history – he’s missed 23 games over the past four seasons.
Rob Gronkowski, TE NE
Gronkowski is the ultimate weapon at tight end and he’ll be Tom Brady’s number one target when healthy. The addition of Allen does nothing to change that fact. The biggest enemy Gronk has is his own body.
Tom Brady, QB NE
I’ve been broken. At this point, I believe Tom Brady could maintain his value if he was throwing to set of folding chairs and a house cat. Nothing matters any longer and he even has nice hair as he ages.
Martellus Bennett, TE FA
Bennett had climbed all the way up the TE12 in our rankings but that spot is in jeopardy now. He needs to find a nice landing spot and it certainly seems that he should find it in relatively short order. He’ll still have a chance to post TE1 numbers wherever he lands but he’s not likely going to be a player you feel gives you a distinct competitive advantage like you would have if he was on New England with Gronkowski out long-term.
Jack Doyle, TE IND
Doyle is easily the biggest winner in all of free agency so far. Remember last year when he scored on opening day and everyone snickered about adding him? Well, it now reminds me of this famous scene from Austin Powers as the laughter has died down.
Yes, Jack Doyle now needs to be taken very seriously. He outplayed Allen last year en route to posting career highs across the board with 59 catches, 584 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He was rewarded with a three-year, $19 million contract with $9.5 million guaranteed this off-season, giving him a net worth at least $9.49 million more than I have. As it stands, Doyle is the clear cut TE1 in an offense commandeered by Andrew Luck. That in itself is worthy of our attention. At this point, he looks like a player who could post low-end TE1 numbers. However, don’t get too comfortable until after the draft. With a class featuring OJ Howard, David Njoku, Evan Engram and others, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Indianapolis add a dynamic athlete to their tight end corps. Doyle is currently the TE23 but he’s going to move into fringe TE1 territory so long as the Colts don’t add anyone else of note.
Andrew Luck, QB IND
Luck’s value isn’t really affected with the move. Allen had always been disappointing and Doyle was simply better last year anyway. Having him on the field may actually help Luck moving forward. The bigger issue in Indianapolis is that offensive line and the risk Luck takes every game.
The Dwayne Allen trade was an interesting one for sure and the aftermath is just beginning. Stay tuned here as we’ll walk analyze all the news together.
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