According to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, the Washington Football Team has decided to franchise tag defensive tackle Daron Payne. The projected cost of the tag is $18.937 million.
Payne became the first player to be tagged in the NFL during the 2023 offseason. The move comes hours after the release of quarterback Carson Wentz, which cleared cap space.
This move comes after a standout season for Payne, who set career-high statistics across the board. He recorded 64 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 20 quarterback hits, and five passes defended. Payne even recorded the first safety in his career. As a result of his impressive performance, he earned his first Pro Bowl selection.
Payne was a first-round pick by Washington in 2018 and is only 25 years old, making him a valuable asset to the team’s defense. While the team has opted to use the franchise tag on him for the upcoming season, they have expressed a desire to work with him on a long-term deal.
The franchise tag ensures that Payne will remain with Washington for at least one more season, giving the team more time to negotiate a potential long-term contract. This move also signals the team’s confidence in Payne’s abilities and their commitment to building a strong defensive unit.