Earlier this offseason, the Indianapolis Colts made the decision to re-sign tight end Dwayne Allen and let Coby Fleener walk in free agency.
The move was a surprise to some, as Fleener hadn't missed a game since his rookie year and had recorded 183 receptions for 2,154 yards and 17 touchdowns in four seasons with the Colts, turning into a reliable target for Andrew Luck in the passing game. So if you were surprised that the Colts opted to re-sign Dwayne Allen, you weren't alone: Dwayne Allen was surprised, too.
“I was with everyone else: extremely surprised,” Allen said, according to 1070 the Fan's Conrad Brunner.
At the time he was re-signed, Allen didn't say that he was surprised but rather just that he felt valued by the Colts' offer and commitment to him. He did say, however, that he wasn't used like he should have been last year and that it led to him feeling unappreciated and undervalued by the Colts, adding that "it gives you the feeling that you are not wanted and that you don’t belong." He then said that the team's offer to him said otherwise, but even at the time there were hints of an uncertainty leading up to the re-signing.
Time will tell whether the Colts made the right decision, but they do know that Allen can be a very good tight end when healthy. He has caught 91 passes for 1,045 yards and 13 touchdowns in the passing game over the past four years, but he also has provided plenty of help as a blocking tight end as well. He's a well-rounded player and can help the Colts in a number of ways, and he figures to have an even bigger impact in 2016 as the clear number one tight end and in Rob Chudzinski's tight end-friendly offense. As Chuck Pagano said earlier this week, the Colts re-signed Allen because he's "a damn good tight end." If Allen can stay healthy and play well, the Colts will be proven right in their decision, and I don't think there are a ton of Colts fans particularly upset with the decision at the moment. But if you were one of those who were surprised at the move, understand that Dwayne Allen was too. He's thrilled to be back and this is where he wanted to be, however, and hopefully it will pay off on the field.