Dwayne Allen

Patriots Rework TE Dwayne Allen’s Contract

Earlier today, the Patriots sweetened Rob Gronkowski‘s deal. Now, it sounds like one of his fellow tight ends will be taking a pay cut. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that Dwayne Allen has agreed to a reworked contract. The veteran was set to make $4.5MM (with a $5MM cap hit), and that number will reduced. Specific terms haven’t been reported.

The Patriots acquired Allen (along with a sixth-rounder) from the Colts last offseason in exchange for a fourth-round pick. After compiling 406 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 2016, the tight end’s stats took a hit during his first season in New England. While the 28-year-old did appear in 15 games (with eight starts), he finished the year with only 10 receptions for 86 yards and a score. He ended up topping those numbers in three postseason games, compiling 11 receptions for 90 yards and one touchdown.

Due to his underwhelming performance last season, Allen was rumored to be on the roster bubble as recently as last month. However, thanks to his new deal, the veteran will presumably be sticking around New England for at least another season. Assuming his spot on the roster is safe, tight ends Jacob Hollister, Will Tye, and rookie Ryan Izzo will now be competing for one of the Patriots’ final roster spots.

The Patriots’ reworked Gronkowski’s contract earlier today, giving him the ability to earn an extra $4.3MM this season. The maximum value of the Pro Bowl tight end’s contract is now $13.05MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Patriots, Allen, Chiefs, Beal, Supplemental Draft, Jets, Winters

Tight end Dwayne Allen is entering the third year of a four-year $29.4MM deal he signed back in 2016. He signed the deal as a member of the Colts before he was traded to the Patriots before last season. Despite being an elite redzone threat with Indianapolis, combining for 14 touchdowns in 2014 and 2016, Allen played sparingly last season with New England.

Now even with Rob Gronkowski‘s injury concerns, Allen could be cut from the team, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Reiss said Allen is in the “roster-cut conversation” due to a salary that’s disproportionate to his role with the team. Reiss thinks that because the Patriots use Allen almost exclusively as a blocking tight end, the team may deem him too expensive and decide to move on. The only thing that could save Allen is the lack of experience of the Patriots’ other backup tight ends, but if one of them emerges this summer, Allen could very easily be a goner.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Matt Miller of Bleacher Report “could see the Chiefs making a bid on Sam Beal in the Supplemental Draft” (Twitter link). Miller thinks Beal “could fill a huge hole” and that the Chiefs would probably have to bid a second round pick to get him. Miller added that he keeps hearing that Beal is “pro ready” and that he thinks Chiefs GM Brett Veach will be aggressive enough to make the move.
  • Jets guard Brian Winters signed a four-year $29MM deal with the team before last season, but 2018 could be his last with the team if he doesn’t improve his play, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Costello notes that there is no more guaranteed money in his deal after this year and that the Jets will “make a decision” on the lineman after this year. He’s struggled with injuries the past two years and if he isn’t able to return to form he’ll be “looking for a new team” writes Costello.
  • In case you missed it, Zach Links took a look back at the Colts’ decision two years ago today to make Andrew Luck the highest paid player in football.

Patriots Acquire TE Dwayne Allen From Colts

The Patriots are trading for Colts tight end Dwayne Allen, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Patriots will be sending a fourth-rounder to the Colts in exchange for Allen and a sixth-round pick, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The deal has been confirmed by the Colts via press release.

[RELATED: Follow PFR On Instagram]

The deal, which had no prior buildup, comes as a complete surprise. The Patriots have now added one of the league’s best offensive tight ends and that presumably spells the end of Martellus Bennett‘s time with the team.

During his only season in New England, Bennett hauled in 55 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns. Considering Allen’s catching ability, he should be able to easily slide in as the number-two tight end behind Rob Gronkowski. Of course, the team also heavily relies on two tight end-sets, so Allen should get plenty of looks, especially in the red zone. The team is also rostering tight end Matt Lengel.

Allen was ranked 41st on Pro Football Focus‘ listing of tight ends (Bennett, meanwhile, was ranked 10th). The veteran performed better in the receiving game, but he struggled in both run and pass catching.

Allen signed a four-year, $29.4MM deal with the Colts one year ago today. Now, he’s slated to serve out the rest of that deal in New England. Allen is set to carry a $5.937MM cap number in 2017, which shouldn’t be too much of a burden on the Pats given the amount of space they presently have to work with. The Colts will free up $2.9MM in cap space, but they’ll also be left with $3MM in dead money.

The Colts re-signed fellow tight end Jack Doyle this week, making Allen somewhat expendable. The team will presumably be seeking a third tight end, as Erik Swoope is currently slotted as the backup.

Now, Indianapolis can redirect that money elsewhere. They have serious needs on the defensive line and they also have free agents of their own to still address, including versatile defensive back Darius Butler.

Photo via PFR on Instagram.

Extra Points: Osweiler, Colts, Fins, Cards, Vikes

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien denied a recent report that tension had emerged between himself and quarterback Brock Osweiler, calling it the “biggest non-story of the year,” according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com. “Anybody that’s been around me knows that I really only know one way to go about it,” O’Brien said. “That’s to work very hard and to do it in a very intense environment. I think that’s the type of players we have. So when you’re coaching football and playing football, and you’re in a competitive environment where everyone is pulling the same rope and everybody is trying to do their very best to win the game, things are going to happen.”

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • After leaving last night’s game against Houston, an MRI revealed that Colts tight end Dwayne Allen has a sprained ankle and is now week-to-week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). As Rapoport notes, that designation likely means that Allen is set to be sidelined for at least some time. Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope will hold down the fort at tight end until Allen can return.
  • When the 49ers restructured Colin Kaepernick‘s deal, they got rid of the embattled quarterback’s injury guarantees so that he could return to the field without the club worrying about being tied to him for the long haul. The Dolphins and Cardinals should think similarly about their quarterbacks, opines Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, as both Ryan Tannehill and Carson Palmer have hefty injury guarantees for the 2017 campaign.
  • Linebacker J.R. Tavai is working out for the Broncos today, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Tavai, 23, spent several months on the Titans’ practice squad last season, and even made it onto the active roster for a few weeks. However, the 2015 UDFA was waived during final cutdowns earlier this year.
  • Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t clear on the future of offensive lineman Isame Faciane, who is facing three misdemeanors after being arrested for DUI earlier this month, tweets Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. For what it’s worth, Zimmer did say that Faciane’s arrest “was not very bright.” Faciane has been a member of the Vikings’ practice squad since 2014.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Colts, Titans, Brady

Following news of Von Miller‘s record-breaking extension with the Broncos, we’ve started hearing reactions from several of the player’s teammates.

Cornerback Chris Harris appeared on NFL Network earlier this week, and the veteran said he believed Miller’s threats of holding out.

“I believe him,” he said (via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post). “You’ve got to take his word for it. It would be hard for me to sit out, missing out on $14 million, but I think Von is serious in what he’s saying. I think he truly, this whole time just talking to him, he hates the franchise tag. I definitely think he won’t sign it.”

Meanwhile, offseason addition Mark Sanchez stated his excitement for Miller’s return

“Happy the deal was done in time for camp,” the quarterback said. “I knew both sides had the same goal and now we can start camp with the whole squad.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the AFC…

  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com says safety Mike Adams‘ two-year, $4.3MM contract (with $1.2MM guaranteed) is the best on the Colts. Meanwhile, tight end Dwayne Allen was said to have the team’s worst contract at four years and $29.4MM (with $11.5MM guaranteed).
  • After Delanie WalkerCraig Stevens, and Anthony Fasano, the Titans could keep up to two additional tight ends, writes Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com. Phillip Supernaw is currently slotted as the team’s fourth tight end, but Wyatt notes that the team will be eyeing the waiver wire for reinforcement.
  • Meanwhile, Wyatt doesn’t envision undrafted kicker Aldrick Rosas unseating starter Ryan Succop.
  • When it comes to the ‘Deflategate’ fiasco, Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe writes that “the Patriots dug their own grave by behaving like a guilty party from the jump.” The writer notes the hypocrisy of owner Robert Kraft, who initially touted Roger Goodell as commissioner. Quarterback Tom Brady announced yesterday that he wouldn’t be appealing his four-game suspension.

AFC Contract Details: Osemele, Irvin, M. Jackson

Here are the latest updates on many recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the AFC:

AFC West:

  • Kelechi Osemele, G/T (Raiders): Five years, $58.5MM. $25.4MM fully guaranteed. Max value of $60MM via Pro Bowl incentives. Guaranteed base salaries of $6.7MM in 2016 and 2017. $6MM roster bonuses in 2016 and 2017 (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today and Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post).
  • Bruce Irvin, OLB (Raiders): Four years, $37MM. $14.5MM fully guaranteed. $19MM total guarantee. $6MM roster bonus in 2016, $2.25MM roster bonus in 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Joe Barksdale, T (Chargers): Four years, $22MM. $10.5MM fully guaranteed. $4MM signing bonus. Fully guaranteed $3.5MM salary in 2016. $3MM of $4.5MM salary in 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter links via Wilson).

AFC South:

  • Malik Jackson, DL (Jaguars): Six years, $85.5MM. $31.5MM fully guaranteed. $42MM total guarantee. $10.5MM of $13.5MM base salary for 2018 becomes fully guaranteed in March 2018 (Twitter links via Pelissero).
  • Dwayne Allen, TE (Colts): Four years, $29.4MM. $4MM signing bonus. $16MM total guarantee (including injury guarantee). $5.5MM roster bonus in 2016. $2MM roster bonus on fifth day of 2017 league year (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Ben Jones, C/G (Titans): Four years, $17.5MM. $3.5MM signing bonus. $7.5MM guaranteed. $2.5MM of $3.5MM salary for 2017 is fully guaranteed. $500K roster bonus due in March 2016 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Chris Clark, T (Texans): Two years, $6MM. $1MM signing bonus. $750K roster bonus due on March 16 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Adam Vinatieri, K (Colts): Two years, $6MM. $1MM of $3.25MM salary for 2016 is guaranteed. Can earn $500K in field-goal percentage incentives each year (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC North:

  • Shareece Wright, CB (Ravens): Three years, $13MM. $4MM signing bonus. Up to $1MM annually in playing-time incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • William Gay, CB (Steelers): Three years, $7.5MM. $1.9MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ben Watson, TE (Ravens): Two years, $7MM. $2MM signing bonus. $3MM fully guaranteed. $1MM roster bonus due April 1, 2016. $1MM escalator for 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tank Carder, LB (Browns): Two years, $2.5MM. $300K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC East:

  • Mario Williams, DE (Dolphins): Two years, $17MM. $4MM signing bonus. Fully guaranteed $4.485MM salary for 2016. $3.5MM of $8.45MM salary for 2017 guaranteed for injury; becomes fully guaranteed on fifth day of 2017 league year. Deal includes incentives for sacks, playing time, Pro Bowls (all Twitter links via Wilson).
  • LaAdrian Waddle, T (Patriots): Two years, $2.35MM. $250K signing bonus. $200K annually in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter links via Wilson and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).

Colts Sign Dwayne Allen To Four-Year Deal

9:12pm: Tom Pelissero of USA Today has more financial details on Allen’s contract (Twitter links). He’ll collect $17MM over the first two years if he earns $500K each season in 46-man roster bonuses. Allen got $11.5MM guaranteed at signing and is due a $2MM roster bonus in 2017.

7:16pm: The Colts have officially signed Allen, according to a team press release.

“From Jim Irsay and his family on down we are very pleased to announce the re-signing of Dwayne Allen,” said general manager Ryan Grigson. “Besides the broad skill set and overall talent level he brings, Dwayne’s tenacity and physicality has always been what has set him apart from the beginning. His genuine love for the people of this community, its fans and for the game of football is what makes him special.”

6:46pm: The Colts and tight end Dwayne Allen have agreed to a four-year, $29.4MM deal, according to Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). Allen, who was scheduled to hit free agency Wednesday, will receive a large portion of that money ($12MM, to be exact) next season, PFT adds. He’s now 13th among tight ends in total contract value. "<strong

Allen has appeared in 43 regular-season games since the Colts selected him in the third round of the 2012 draft, totaling 91 receptions, 11.5 yards per catch, and 13 touchdowns.

Other than 2013, when he played only one game, Allen is coming off the least productive season of his career. The 26-year-old racked up just 16 catches in 13 games – averaging a meager 6.8 yards per reception – and registered a mere touchdown. Allen hasn’t been able to match the production he put up during a 45-catch, 521-yard rookie season, though he did record a personal-high eight touchdowns in 2014.

Given Allen’s career numbers, such an expensive contract looks like a significant coup for him and a head-scratcher for the Colts. It should also signal the end of fellow tight end Coby Fleener‘s time in Indianapolis. Fleener, also a 2012 draft pick, has far outpaced Allen statistically to this point in their careers, having accrued 50-plus catches in three straight seasons. He’s expected to reach the open market Wednesday.

Photo courtesty of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Shorts, Roddy, Allen, Titans, Bucs

Veteran receiver Cecil Shorts is expected to return to the Texans and finish out the second and final year of the two-year contract he signed prior to the 2015 season, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Shorts, 28, appeared in 11 games last year, catching 42 passes for 484 yards and two touchdowns. Houston could save almost $3MM by releasing Shorts, but with fellow pass-catcher Nate Washington heading for free agency, the club will need options out wide.

Let’s dive into a few more items from around the league…

  • Having already identified the Buccaneers as a possible for suitor for free agent Roddy White, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link) also points to the Titans and Raiders as potential landing spots for the veteran receiver. It’s unclear if Rapoport is reporting or just making connections, but either way, each club makes sense — both Tennessee (Terry Robiskie) and Oakland (Bill Musgrave) field offenses run by former members of Atlanta’s coaching staff.
  • Pending free agent tight end Dwayne Allen hopes he doesn’t even make it to free agency, as he’d prefer to work out an agreement with the Colts before March 9, he told 1070 The Fan today (link via Kevin Bowen of Colts.com). Allen, along with fellow Indianapolis free agent Coby Fleener, would be one of the most sought-after tight ends on the open market. Allen recently hired agent Drew Rosenhaus, who has a history of getting deals done with the Colts, as his new representation.
  • The Buccaneers will not tender restricted free agent linebacker Danny Lansanah, reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). The 30-year-old Lansanah has bounced around the league, and he’ll now become an unrestricted free agent next week. Per Auman, the Tampa Bay could re-sign Lansanah at a later date (and presumably, at a cheaper price than even the lowest tender).

FA Rumors: Irvin, Forte, C. Long, Gipson, J. Howard

Armed with over $70MM in cap space and in need of defensive upgrades, the Jaguars have emerged as early contenders for soon-to-be free agent linebacker Bruce Irvin, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Irvin, who has spent the first four years of his career in Seattle, is familiar with Jags head coach Gus Bradley – formerly the Seahawks‘ defensive coordinator. Bradley helped Irvin to a career-high eight sacks in the defender’s rookie year, 2012, before leaving for Jacksonville. Irvin has since added 14 more sacks over the last three years. When PFR’s Luke Adams previewed the Jaguars’ offseason three weeks ago, he listed Irvin as a logical fit for the Jags.

Here’s the latest on some other players looking for new contracts as free agency nears:

  • Thirty-year-old running back Matt Forte will have a difficult time eclipsing $3MM per annum on his next deal, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The five-time thousand-yard rusher racked up 1,287 total yards (898 rushing, 389 receiving) and seven touchdowns last season, and is poised to join his second franchise after spending the first eight years of his career in Chicago.
  • Free agent defensive end Chris Long is generating interest and will start visiting teams after his first child is born (due date Wednesday), tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Long, 30, has 54.5 sacks in his first eight seasons, all of which were spent in St. Louis. The Rams released Long earlier this month after injuries limited his effectiveness the previous two years.
  • Safety Tashaun Gipson expects his Browns tenure to end after four years, per teammate Donte Whitner. “I don’t think he’s too hopeful he’s going to be back,” said Whitner (Twitter link via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). We learned over the weekend that Gipson could parlay his ball-hawking prowess (14 career interceptions) into a big contract.
  • Chiefs defensive lineman Jaye Howard is looking for $8MM to $9MM per year, Biggs reports. Howard, 27, set career highs in starts (14), tackles (57) and sacks (5.5) during the 2015-16 season, and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded him a solid 24th among 123 qualifying interior D-linemen.
  • The Dolphins could pursue Bears tight end Zach Miller in free agency, writes Biggs. Miller played under new Dolphins head coach Adam Gase when the latter was the Bears’ offensive coordinator last season and totaled career bests in all notable categories. If Chicago loses Miller, it could replace him with one of the Colts‘ free agent tight ends, Dwayne Allen or Coby Fleener, per Biggs.

La Canfora’s Latest: Hali, Bengals, Rams, Colts

After renegotiating his contract last May, and adding four void years to the end of his deal, Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 9, and he although the expectation is that he’ll return to Kansas City for an 11th season, he would walk into a strong market were he to reach free agency, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. In a league devoid of pass rush talent, Hali, who posted 6.5 sacks last year at the age of 32, could land a surprisingly large contract, per La Canfora.

Let’s dive into the latest from the CBS Sports scribe:

  • The Bengals consider receiver Marvin Jones, cornerback Adam Jones, and safety Reggie Nelson their three most important free agents, sources tell La Canfora. For his part, Jones is expected to test free agency, while Nelson has expressed a strong desire to return to Cincinnati.
  • A report earlier today indicated that the Rams plan to place the franchise or transition tag on either Janoris Jenkins or Trumaine Johnson, and La Canfora reports that the odds of Los Angeles completing a long-term deal with either corner before the March 1 tag deadline is “bleak.” Therefore, it’s possible the Rams are forced to simply use the tag on one player, and let the either leave via free agency.
  • Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford might not have many suitors on the open market, per La Canfora, so Philadelphia could be smart to let him gauge his value in free agency rather than striking a deal now or using the franchise tag. La Canfora does point to Chip Kelly and the 49ers as one possible landing spot for Bradford (if San Francisco trades Colin Kaepernick).
  • La Canfora believes Dwayne Allen is the more likely tight end to remain with the Colts, arguing that he’s a more complete player than Coby Fleener. Whichever tight end does leave Indianapolis, adds La Canfora, could be candidate to fill the void left by Heath Miller on the Steelers‘ roster.
  • In a separate piece, La Canfora examines whether the “franchise tag-and-trade” concept — which the Dolphins are reportedly mulling using with defensive end Olivier Vernon — could become a leaguewide trend.