Dwayne Allen initially ‘shocked’ at trade to Patriots, says he’s excited to be with team

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Dwayne Allen

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Even with the Indianapolis Colts’ hefty investment in Jack Doyle, Dwayne Allen believed there was room for a pair of high-priced tight ends on the roster.

First-year general manager Chris Ballard had other ideas, and shook Allen’s world this week by trading him to the New England Patriots. He admitted he initially was “shocked” by the news.

“I believed there was room for two tight ends, but Chris had other plans and I’m sure that it’s within his plan to rebuild the Colts organization,” Allen said Friday in a conference call with Patriots media. “Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it or who you ask, I was traded.”

Allen was informed of his relocation Wednesday while he watching a spring practice at Clemson University, his alma mater. It came a day after the Colts signed Doyle to a three-year, $18.9 million contract and 12 months after Allen signed a four-year, $29.4 million deal.

“When I got word that Jack was re-signing, my initial response was ‘Congrats, Jack,”’ Allen said. “Jack Doyle is easily one of the greatest teammates I’ve ever been around. He deserves every penny that he earned.”

Allen was the Colts’ third-round pick in 2012, and part of the team’s massive roster overall. That’s the draft that delivered quarterback Andrew Luck, tight end Coby Fleener and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton to the roster.

In five seasons, Allen started 56 of 57 games, missing 23 games with a variety of injuries. When healthy, he was productive: 126 receptions, 1,451 yards, 19 touchdowns.

Allen’s versatility was a major reason then-general manager Ryan Grigson opted to re-sign him rather than Fleener last offseason. He frequently was moved around in the formation – split out wide or in the slot, as blocker on the end of the line, in the backfield as a fullback – and was an accomplished blocker.

“I take pride in that,” Allen said of his blocking. “I want to be not only the best blocking tight end, but I want to be the best blocker on my team.”

Allen was reflective when considering his five-year career with the Colts.

“I really feel like my involvement with the Indianapolis Colts organization goes further than what was on the field,” he said. “It was an amazing time. We had some incredible moments, overcame some just dire obstacles and had a lot of success during the five years I was there.

“I really wish those guys nothing but the best. So thankful for the Irsay family for taking a chance on me. They had already drafted a tight end (Fleener in round 2) and decided to take a another. So thankful for them to do that.

“It’s one of those places that I will hold near and dear to my heart for the rest of my life.”

Allen laughed when asked if he ever thought a Colt would be traded to New England. It’s just the third time that’s happened, the first since 1985.

“Reggie Wayne was here for a cup of coffee, but I never thought a Colt would be traded here,” he said. “But I knew it was possible for Colts to come here.

“I’m excited to be here, man.”

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51