The Indianapolis Colts created minor waves when they traded Dwayne Allen to the New England Patriots on March 9, a year after he signed a four-year extension.

Allen caught 35 passes for 406 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games last season, emerging as a staple of the Colts’ passing game.

General manager Chris Ballard explained his decision to trade Allen, attributing the move to fellow tight end Erik Swoope‘s development.

“Look, Dwayne Allen was a great pro and a good guy,” Ballard said via Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. “That was a really hard decision to make because he’s a great person. But sometimes to let a player take another step, you have to move on from a guy. And I think Swoope’s got a lot of talent. We’ll see. I thought we saw signs of progression last year that were exciting to see. He’s got to take another step. And we’ll see if he does it or not.”

Jack Doyle signed a three-year, $19-million contract extension in March, and Ballard believes Swoope can exploit matchups while featuring as the team’s second tight end.

“I think Swoope is really talented. I want to see Swoope get to his ceiling. He’s a very talented athlete and can be a mismatch player. The only way guys like that are going to ascend is by competing every day to get better. That’s the only way.”

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