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Colts to trade Dwayne Allen, sixth-rounder to Patriots

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With Martellus Bennett due to leave for greener pastures, the Patriots have identified his replacement as Rob Gronkowski's sidekick.

The Colts are set to trade tight end Dwayne Allen to New England, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the prospective deal. The Colts will receive a fourth-round pick in exchange for the tight end, while the Patriots get Allen and a sixth-round pick.

Allen became expendable in Indianapolis when the Colts re-signed Jack Doyle to a three-year, $19 million contract on Tuesday.

Although the Patriots had interest in retaining Bennett, they were unwilling to exceed Gronkowski's deal at $9 million per season.

Allen is due to collect just $2.5 million in 2017 and $4.5 million in 2018 under terms of the four-year, $29.4 million extension signed last March.

There's a touch of irony in Allen's landing spot, as the Colts originally drafted him and Coby Fleener to emulate the New England tandem of Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. According to former Patriots executive Michael Lombardi, the team has always been high on Allen.

At his best, the 2012 third-round pick is one of the few tight ends capable of excelling as an in-line blocker, a chain-moving receiver and a red-zone threat.

That said, Allen was outplayed by the undrafted Doyle as both a blocker and a receiver last season. He has also missed extensive action due to hip, back and ankle injuries over the past four years.

On the bright side, he's an excellent scheme fit in New England, provides insurance for the oft-injured Gronkowski and allows Josh McDaniels the liberty of running two-tight end sets as the situation demands.

If Allen plays to his ceiling in Tom Brady's offense, the Patriots won't miss Bennett.

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