2017 NFL free agency: Nate Allen sold on Dolphins’ direction

Allen (20) will get a chance to compete for the starting free safety spot. (Getty Images)

There were a lot of reasons why Nate Allen wanted to play for the Dolphins, but nothing persuaded him more than where he thinks this team is headed.

After a 10-6 season and the team’s first playoff appearance since 2008, there’s been a lot of optimism among players signing and re-signing with Miami this season.

“I just like what’s going on here,” he said tonight. “I’m close to home. My family can come watch me play. There’s certain things you can’t put a dollar sign on that appeal to me about being here in Miami.

“At this point in my career, I want to enjoy who I’m playing with and be part of a group that has a chance to do something big. That’s what I feel we can do in Miami.”

Allen, 29, comes in with a chance to earn a starting job at free safety. The Dolphins have Pro Bowler Reshad Jones locked in at the other spot and likely will draft a safety to compete with Allen.

Allen has not made it through a full season as the starter since 2014. He suffered a torn MCL in the 2015 season opener. He played 14 games for Oakland as a reserve last season and says he’s back to full strength.

“I’m healthy; I feel good,” he said. “I had that MCL thing, but that’s all good. I played all last year. No problems. I wasn’t hampered by it last year.”

[Kenny Stills says money didn’t drive his free agency process]

[Inside the Dolphins: Three good stories from Chris Grier reveal how they make their picks and why this time of year matters so much]

[Reshad Jones says Miami Dolphins “kept their word”]

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