There has been a lot of talk about contracts this offseason, and it has been a storyline that has been talked about regarding the Indianapolis Colts as well. From Andrew Luck's looming mega-deal that is likely coming next offseason to some wondering whether the drafting of Phillip Dorsett means questions about T.Y. Hilton's future to the fact that the Colts likely won't be extending Chuck Pagano's contract until after the season - there's been a lot of talk about contracts for the Colts.
And it makes sense. Next offseason, they will almost certainly be giving out new contracts to Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, and Anthony Castozno (and Chuck Pagano), and that will leave them with a number of decisions to make about other players. One of the biggest decisions that might have to be made is at the tight end position, as both Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener are set to become free agents after the 2015 season as well. The Colts would like to bring them both back and keep the duo intact, but it remains to be seen whether the team will have enough room to do so.
Allen realizes the uncertain future at the position and alluded to as much in a recent interview with the USA Today's Lindsay Jones. "It's a lot of mouths to feed, and if you worry about that, you're not going to play well," Allen said, referring to his contract status and the contract status of other key Colts as well. "The best thing you can do for yourself is know that off-field stuff will take care of itself. That's one of the things Coby [Fleener] and I said at the start of OTAs — we never had a competitive nature between us, we've always understood that we play on paper the same position. But we're two different athletes, two different players. So this year, what we want most is to help our team win it all but also have as much fun as possible. Because we don't know, this could be our last year playing together."
It's a possibility that could indeed become reality in a year, depending on how both Allen and Fleener play in 2015 and how much money is devoted to players like Luck, Hilton, and Castonzo next offseason as well. In an ideal world, the Colts would be able to re-sign both Allen and Fleener to keep one of the NFL's best tight end duos together. In 2014, the two combined for 80 catches, 1,169 yards, and 16 touchdowns (averaging 14.6 yards per catch), becoming the first tight end tandem in league history to each catch at least eight touchdown passes in a season. In their three years in the league, Fleener and Allen have combined to play in 74 games and catch 204 passes for 2,599 yards and 26 touchdowns (averaging 12.7 yards per reception). Fleener has emerged as a top-ten receiving tight end while Allen is one of the better all-around tight ends in the league when healthy.
2015 will be a very big season for the two Colts tight ends, as they certainly realize that it might be their last playing together. The hope is that it won't be, but reality is that it very well might be. And that's just another reason for the two tight ends to enjoy every moment of a season in which they know, as Allen said, that "our time is now."