Tom Brady has frequently looked to Allen in the red zone at training camp, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reports.
The Patriots made frequent use of two-TE formations last season when both Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski were healthy, but Allen isn't quite on Bennett's level and that team didn't have Brandin Cooks. While thus unlikely to match Bennett's target volume, the former Colt could stay regularly involved near the end zone, where he's long been a threat. 19 of his 126 career receptions (15 percent) have gone for touchdowns, with 11 of those coming from inside the 10-yard line. Allen's primary appeal still involves a scenario in which Gronkowski is absent.
In securing the services of Allen, the Patriots have signaled that they are poised to part ways with fellow TE Martellus Bennett. Allen, whose blocking ability has earned the praise of coach Bill Belichick, has three years left on the four-year, $29 million contract that he signed with Indy last March. The 27-year-old profiles as a solid all-around tight end, who will provide the Patriots with a complementary option/insurance policy for oft-injured Rob Gronkowski. Allen himself is no stranger to the injury report, having missed a combined 23 games (including 15 in 2013) over the past four seasons, but when healthy, the 6-foot-3, 265-pounder can do some damage in the red zone. Over the course of 57 NFL contests to date, he's hauled in 19 TDs.
It's unclear what the Patriots will give up in the anticipated deal, but assuming the move is completed, we'd expect that it paves the way for the departure of Martellus Bennett via free agency. Allen is coming off a 2016 season in which he caught 35 passes for 406 yards and six TDs in 14 games for Indy. With the Patriots he'd provide the team with both valuable insurance for, as well as a complementary option to, oft-injured tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Allen had three receptions for 34 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown, on three targets in Sunday's win over Jacksonville.
Allen had a disapointing season as he had just 35 receptions for 406 yards despite entering the season as the No. 1 tight end after the departure of Coby Fleener. Allen did have six touchdowns, but three came in one game and he had seven games with two or fewer receptions. With the emergence of Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope, Allen may face increased competition for targets next season.
Allen had just four targets and one catch the prior two weeks, so this is a mild bounce back. Still, he's become the second tight end in the passing game after Jack Doyle and has to contend with an emerging Eric Swoope as well.
|P2||8/19/17||@ HOU||8:00 pm|
|P3||8/25/17||@ DET||7:00 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|5||10/5/17||@ TB||8:25 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 9|
|10||11/12/17||@ DEN||8:30 pm|
|11||11/19/17||@ OAK||4:25 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|14||12/11/17||@ MIA||8:30 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ PIT||4:25 pm|
|2017||New England Patriots||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||New England Patriots||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|