The Patriots have traded a fourth-round draft pick to the Colts in exchange for Allen and a sixth-round selection, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Allen recorded 35 catches for 406 yards with six touchdowns last season.
The Colts just recently re-signed tight end Jack Doyle, who was their second-leading receiver and Andrew Luck's second-favorite target behind wide receiver T.Y. That was his second most productive National Football League season after his rookie year, when he caught 45 passes for 521 yards with three touchdowns.
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With Martellus Bennett due to leave for greener pastures, the Patriots have identified his replacement as Rob Gronkowski's sidekick. He is signed through 2019 at age 29 with cap hits for the Patriots of $4.90 million, $5 million, and $7.4 million. Allen, a 2012 third-round pick, never flourished into the prolific pass-catcher the Colts expected him to be. In a piece headlined, "Patriots' greatest free-agent impact starts with Matt Forte, Dwayne Allen", the case was made why Allen would be a ideal complement to Gronkowski as a 1-2 tight end punch. To be able to get a fourth round pick for Allen while still keeping their top tight end (Doyle) is impressive. That made him one of the 10 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL. I'm both humbled and excited for the challenge ahead of earning the right to be called a New England Patriot.
Allen isn't Gronkowski or Bennett as a receiver, but he's a starting-caliber player, and he'll receive far more snaps than Lengel or Williams would have in the offense.
In two of his past three seasons with the Colts, Allen was a scoring machine.