Daron Payne has officially reset the defensive tackle market, as the Washington Commanders signed him to a lucrative contract extension.
The free agency negotiation window officially opens up on Monday, March 13. Even so, there are still deals being made, and they arrived in a flurry on Sunday. The most notable was cornerback Jalen Ramsey being traded from the Los Angeles Rams to the Miami Dolphins. Later on in the day, the Washington Commanders signed one of their key defensive players to a long-term contract.
Defensive tackle Daron Payne wasn’t scheduled to hit free agency, as the Commanders placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him. That meant he was under contract for $18.9 million for the 2023 season, but other teams could send in an offer.
The Commanders won’t have to worry about that, as they and Payne agreed to terms on a lucrative contract extension.
Daron Payne contract details: Defensive tackle market officially reset by Commanders
According to ESPN senior NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Commanders and Payne agreed to terms on a four-year contract, which will pay him a total of $90 million. $60 million on the deal is guaranteed.
As Schefter points out, Payne is now the second-highest paid defensive tackle behind Rams superstar Aaron Donald, who is making $95 million through the 2024 season.
With this news, defensive tackles soon set to hit free agency have to be salivating, as Payne officially reset the market. As The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov points out, defensive tackles due for a new contract include Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs, Dexter Lawrence of the New York Giants, Jeffery Simmons of the Tennessee Titans, Quinnen Williams of the New York Jets, and Christian Wilkins of the Dolphins. Not to mention, Javon Hargrave of the Philadelphia Eagles is set to be the top defensive tackle in free agency at the start of the 2023 league year.
This past season, Payne recorded 64 combined tackles (32 solo, 32 assisted), 20 quarterback hits, 18 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, five passes defended, and one fumble recovery. Payne was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time this season, where he replaced Donald.
The Commanders ensured that they had their defensive line set for the foreseeable future by keeping Payne under contract for the next four years. Now, other interior defensive linemen set for a new contract will look to try to get a similar deal as Payne.