Swoope signed his exclusive rights tender with Indianapolis, Joe Spears of The Indianapolis Star reports. Swoope had just 15 receptions for 297 yards and one touchdown in 2016, but he's poised for a larger role in the Colts' offense this year. With Dwayne Allen gone, Swoope will share the tight end duties with Jack Doyle in an offense that is ripe with two-TE formations.
The Colts' decision to trade Dwayne Allen was partially motivated by a desire to give Swoope an opportunity to flourish, Stephen Holder of The Indianapolis Star reports. "I think Swoope is really talented, " said Colts general manager Chris Ballard. "I want to see Swoope get to his ceiling. He's a very talented athlete and can be a mismatch player. The only way guys like that are going to ascend is by competing every day to get better. That's the only way." The trade was also motivated by a desire to free up cap space and the strong 2017 draft class at tight end, but it does sound as if the Colts legitimately have high hopes for Swoope, a 2014 undrafted free agent who played basketball (but not football) at the University of Miami. After spending most of 2014 and 2015 on the practice squad, Swoope played all 16 games in 2016 and made the most of his limited opportunities, catching 15 of 22 targets for 297 yards and a touchdown. Though still stuck behind Jack Doyle on the depth chart, Swoope currently stands as the No. 2 tight end in an offense that has traditionally made heavy use of two-TE formations. It is possible the Colts could add competition in the early rounds of the upcoming draft, but the team has bigger needs to address.
Swoope currently projects as the Colts' No. 2 tight end, Colts.com reports. With Dwayne Allen shipped off to New England, the Colts are left with just Swoope and Jack Doyle at a position that annually has major involvement in the team's passing game. However, Indy will presumably add a few more bodies through free agency and/or the draft, with the latter offering no shortage of high-end talent at the position. It's still possible Swope will have to compete for the No. 2 TE role.
Swoope had one reception for 22 yards on his only target in Sunday's win over Jacksonville. The former college basketball player barely got on the field his first two seasons and was stuck on the bench most of the first half of this year. However, he had eight receptions for 167 yards and a touchdown over his final six games despite playing limited snaps, averaging 16.7 yards per target. Swoope could be a sleeper in 2017 if he gets more playing time.
Swoope had one reception for 45 yards on one target in Saturday's loss at Oakland. Swoope played just ten snaps, but he's continued his late-season emergence. He's had six receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown his last four games. The former college basketball player barely got on the field his first two seasons and was stuck on the bench most of the first half of this season. However, his recent play suggests he could be a larger part of the offense next season. It's possible he could get a larger trial in Week 17 with the Colts out of the playoffs as the team looks toward 2017.
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