The Washington Commanders and defensive tackle Daron Payne have agreed to a four-year, $90 million deal that includes $60 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday.
The Commanders placed the franchise tag on Payne earlier this month, but then quickly began talks with Payne’s representatives. Several days ago, a source said that the talks were moving fast. The Commanders wanted to make a deal before free agency to help them retain their other key players and be more active in free agency.
The contract makes Payne the second highest paid defensive tackle in history behind Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams.
According to ESPN Stats & Information Research, Payne could be worth $60 million or more after joining Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ($100 million), Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackles Chris Jones ($60 million) and Donald Trump ($60 million). Became the fourth NFL defensive lineman to receive a guarantee. million).
Payne recorded career highs in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (21) last season. At defensive tackle, he was third in sacks and second in tackles for loss.
Payne, a first-round pick in 2018, recorded a combined 14.5 sacks in his first four seasons, but the team transitioned to a different system for linemen (they’re responsible for holding two gaps, one for running were responsible). The Commanders’ coaches felt that Payne’s breakout season coincided with him becoming more comfortable in this style.
Payne and teammate John Allen formed a formidable tandem inside. Allen, who was voted to the Pro Bowl, recorded 19 tackles for loss along with 6.5 sacks, making the pair arguably the NFL’s best defensive interior tandem. Payne made the Pro Bowl as an alternate but was added later in the event when others ahead of him could not attend.
Payne, the 13th overall pick in the 2018 draft, has started 75 games in his career and hasn’t missed a game over the past three seasons. He has forced four fumbles (also recovering four) in five seasons, though none in the last two.
Washington signed Allen to an extension ahead of the 2021 season and has two other defensive linemen up for new deals soon. Defensive end Montez Sweatt will be a free agent after the season, and teammates are undecided about taking up the fifth-year option on fellow end Chase Young, who has played just 12 games over the past two years at the United States due to a torn right ACL. is and is broken. patellar tendon.
Washington also expects to retain several other key players, including quarterback Taylor Heinicke and linebacker Cole Holcomb.