Washington Commanders Franchise Tag Daron Payne

The Washington Commanders aren't wasting any time with their premier free agent. The team officially announced via its Twitter account that it has placed the franchise tag on defensive lineman Daron Payne.

Payne is hitting free agency at the ideal time. The former 13th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft was dominant in 2022, tallying 11.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss, both of which were career highs. He broke out this past year, but he's been durable and effective his whole career: he has appeared in 81 of a possible 82 games since 2018, totalling 26.0 sacks and 291 tackles.

Applying the franchise tag on Payne should cost the Commanders $18.937 million on a one-year deal. If the Commanders attempt to negotiate a long-term deal, he could earn a contract similar to the four-year, $72 million deal signed by fellow Commander Jonathan Allen in 2021 or the three-year, $63 million extension inked by New York Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams in 2021. 

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