The team reported to the complex Monday to begin eight weeks of offseason training activities, and that included Allen, who received permission from the team to work with his own trainer in Arizona, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Allen as well as tight end Coby Fleener, are both entering contract years in their fourth seasons. They’re two of several key Colts who will be looking to parlay a solid season into a more lucrative contract after the season.
Fifth-year offensive left tackle Anthony Castonzo and fourth-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton are also entering the final years of their rookie deals. Castonzo, who protects the blind side of quarterback Andrew Luck, has been the team’s best blocker. Hilton has evolved into Luck’s No. 1 target and earned his first Pro Bowl honor last season.
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson made a significant splash in free agency by adding wide receiver Andre Johnson, running back Frank Gore and outside linebacker Trent Cole. That’s fueled media hype about the Colts being serious contenders for Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif.
The team has reached the playoffs in each of the last three seasons and progressed to the AFC title game last year, although the 45-7 road loss to the New England Patriots was a bitter setback. The Patriots also ousted the Colts 43-22 the previous postseason in an AFC Divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The roster has undergone some tweaking, most notably the team’s decision to not re-sign 14-year wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Adding his old University of Miami buddy in Johnson, the Houston Texans’ all-time receiving leader, is expected to fill that void. The team also signed wide receiver Duron Carter, son of NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter, from the Canadian Football League as well as former San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Vincent Brown.
The Colts also signed St. Louis Rams defensive end Kendall Langford, Denver Broncos inside linebacker Nate Irving, Atlanta Falcons safety Dwight Lowery, Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Todd Herremans, CFL offensive guard Ben Heenan and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Deveron Carr.
Safety Mike Adams, who earned his first Pro Bowl nod last season, was among those re-signed, as was nickel cornerback Darius Butler, running back Dan Herron, backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, offensive tackle/guard Joe Reitz, long snapper Matt Overton, safety Colt Anderson, outside linebacker Cam Johnson and outside linebacker Daniel Adongo.
Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman is a restricted free agent who is expected to return. Any NFL team making him an offer would have to part with a second-round draft choice, a steep price, if the Colts opted not to match.
OTAs start with two weeks of strength and conditioning drills. The team’s first media availability will be Wednesday.
The Colts will learn their 2015 schedule Tuesday, when the NFL announces the season’s games at 8 p.m.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.