2023-03-13 · 2 min read · NFL/Football
Commanders Daron Payne

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports | Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

One of the top free agent defensive tackles is officially off the board as the Washington Commanders signed Darron Payne to a long-term contract extension on Sunday.
Per sources, the 25-year-old Pro Bowler will be paid $90 million over the next four years, making him the second-highest-earning interior lineman in the NFL behind Aaron Donald.
Donald signed a $95 million deal with the Los Angeles Rams last year, which included $65 million in guarantees.
In 2022, Payne, a former freshman All-American had his contract option exercised by Washington instead of signing an extension, and he delivered in a big way, posting 11.5 sacks, the fourth-most at his position and only three less than he’d accumulated throughout his first four NFL campaigns.
He also set career-highs in 2022 for tackles (64), tackles for a loss (18), quarterback hits (20), and pass deflections (five).
Since joining the Commanders in 2018 as the 13th overall selection in the NFL draft, he’s proven to be durable, playing in 81 of Washington’s 82 games, including their last 55.
With Payne and his Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen now locked up in Washington, the team must decide whether or not to exercise the fifth-year option on pass rusher Chase Young after the second pick in the 2020 draft missed most of last season with a torn ACL.
At the end of the 2022 regular season, Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew had this to say about Payne.
“He’s always been disruptive. He’s always been in the backfield; he’s always been around the ball. This was the first year he really was finishing the way that he finished this year, so he played outstanding football for us.”
Payne’s coach Ron Rivers, a former linebacker in the NFL, was clear that the former national champion is what they need in their defensive schemes saying that he “fits the formula of what we want to do and how we want to play and (has) the skill set that you would like to have.”
Payne has made 296 tackles in his professional career while recording 26 sacks in 81 games.
“It’s like all the work that I put in over the years just finally came to fruition for me,” Payne said. “It’ll be good. I got drafted in the first round, so I already got a lot of cash. It’ll be something nice for me.”
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By: Joel Lefevre


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