Foxborough, MA– When Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry became the Splash Brothers for the Golden State Warriors as two of the greatest shooters of all-time, they revolutionized the NBA by changing the way basketball was played. Suddenly, three-pointers were all the rage and now every player (save for Ben Simmons) is working on their own long range shot. They changed the NBA completely as they were simultaneously unstoppable.
The same cannot be said about how the New England Patriots impacted the NFL with their two-tight-end offense. It's rare that a team can even nab one solid tight end, but the Patriots looked unbeatable when they had Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez leading the offense back in the day. But they never changed the game with this strategy, largely because the Hernandez era was cut short by a terrible saga that does not need to be rehashed here. Since then, the Patriots have tried and failed to replicate a two-headed monster at the tight end position as Gronk has held steady with the role, but signings like Martellus Bennett and Dwayne Allen never quite panned out as New England hoped (though they did both win Super Bowl titles with the Patriots).
Now, reports say that New England has informed Allen that they are releasing him. In the upcoming season, Allen was owed just under six and a half million dollars, which New England did not feel was justifiable so they parted ways with the tight end. Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Allen will test free agency, but there is the possibility that he could return to New England on a reduced contract. In two seasons, Allen has just 13 receptions and one touchdown, including three catches for no touchdowns last season, and he has mainly become a top blocker for the team.
The team's confidence in letting Allen test the waters could point to solid optimism within the Patriots organization that Gronk will forego retirement to return next season, as tight ends of his prowess are not easy to replace. Gronk, however, is still deciding on his future.