Dwayne Allen should GO
When the Patriots traded for Allen back in March 2017, they presumably imagined him slotting in alongside Rob Gronkowski to form a formidable 1-2 punch at tight end. After all, Belichick was the original pioneer behind using two tight ends to dictate mismatches against opposing defenses: he did it with Gronk and Aaron Hernandez most successfully, before trying to replicate some of those results with other players like Alge Crumpler, Tim Wright, Martellus Bennett, Scott Chandler, etc.
Allen was never quite sensational during his five years with the Indianapolis Colts, but the hope was that in coming to New England, he could spell Gronkowski, while also proving himself a reliable run-blocker and red-zone receiving threat.
The results thus far have been underwhelming to say the least.
In two years with the Patriots, Allen has yet to crack the 100-yard plateau for the entire season. He had just one touchdown catch in 2017, and had zero this past season. His ability as a blocker has been adequate, but unless Gronkowski decides he does want to retire from football this offseason, the Patriots already have a tight end that can run-block as good as anyone.
Allen isn’t a free agent this spring, but he does carry with him a $7.3 million cap hit, which is the seventh-highest total among all players on New England’s roster. All the names above him on the list for cap casualty make sense: Tom Brady, Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Dont’a Hightower, and Marcus Cannon. Then there’s Allen, who as good of a teammate as he’s been for two years, just hasn’t produced anywhere near the level expected of him when he came over from Indy.
The Patriots should either release or try to trade Allen (provided Gronkowski decides to return in 2019), then try to find a more athletic receiving tight end to replace him in either the draft or free agency.