Defensive tackle Daron Payne will not reach free agency next month after the Washington Commanders used the franchise tag to retain him on Tuesday.
The Commanders made the move official after releasing a brief statement: “We have applied the franchise tag to DT Daron Payne.”
Payne is guaranteed a 2023 salary of $18.937 million if the two sides can’t reach a long-term contract agreement by July 15.
The 25-year-old Alabama product was a wrecking ball in his contract year and was voted to the Pro Bowl last season with 64 tackles (18 for loss), 20 QB hits, 11.5 sacks, five passes defensed and a fumble recovery.
Selected with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Payne has played in 81 games (75 starts), compiling 291 tackles (40 for loss), 55 quarterback hits, 26 sacks, 14 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and a safety.
The Commanders’ defense was third in the NFL in yards allowed last season.
Washington was active Monday, releasing quarterback Carson Wentz and defensive back Bobby McCain to save more than $26 million toward the 2023 salary cap.
–Field Level Media