Barry Jackson

Dolphins to host visit with veteran Patriots player

The Dolphins, apparently open to changes at tight end, will host veteran Dwayne Allen on Friday, a source confirmed.

Miami will be the fourth team Allen is visiting this week, after visits to Baltimore, Buffalo and Detroit.

Allen was released by New England on Monday in a move that will save the Patriots $7.3 million.

Allen, 29, had just three catches for 27 yards in 13 games for New England last season, including eight starts, but is a skilled blocker. He played 365 snaps on offense (32.6 percent) for the Pats this past season, per Pro Football Focus, but was used as a blocker on the vast majority of those plays.

He was targeted only 26 times as a receiver in his two years in New England and caught 13 of those targets for 113 yards.

He caught 35 passes for 406 yards for the Colts in 2016, his last of five seasons in Indianapolis.

Allen has 139 receptions for 1564 yards and 20 touchdown receptions in seven NFL seasons.

The Dolphins have three tight ends under contract - Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe and Nick O’Leary.

Gesicki, the team’s second-round pick last April, had a disappointing rookie season (22 catches for 202 yards). Smythe, the team’s fourth round pick last April, was drafted with the hope that he could become a high-level NFL blocking tight end, his strength at Notre Dame.

O’Leary was signed to the practice squad last September, impressed enough not only to earn a promotion but a modest contract extension that will pay him $1.5 million in 2019.

But the meeting with Allen suggests Miami might not believe that group is good enough for 2019.

Tight end MarQueis Gray, who missed last season with a torn Achilles’, is eligible to become a free agent next week.

Please check out my Thursday six-pack of Dolphins notes, including offensive line plans, Drew Lock talk and more.