Update: Payne was given a non-exclusive franchise tag, per Tom Pelissero. This means that he can still negotiate with other teams. If a team wants to give him an offer, Washington has the chance to match it. If they do, Payne remains with the Commanders. If they don’t, Payne can join his new team, who will then owe Washington a first-round pick in this and next year’s drafts.
The Washington Commanders have placed the franchise tag on star defensive tackle Daron Payne. The tag will give the Pro Bowl defender $18.937 million for one year if they two sides can’t come to a contract agreement before July 15.
Payne had a career year in his fifth season with the Commanders, as he accumulated 11.5 sacks, 20 QB hits and 18 tackles for a loss. He’s also only missed one game due to injury, giving the team no reason to not want to bring him back on a longer term contract.
Washington released quarterback Carson Wentz on Monday, saving the Commanders $26.2 million in cap space. They also brought in the Super Bowl champion Chiefs’ offensive coordinator this offseason, Eric Bieniemy. This is likely Ron Rivera’s last season to save his job with a playoff run, as the team is currently up for sale and another down year would likely cause wholesale change from the top down.