Will Daron Payne’s cryptic Instagram activity lead to trade request?
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Football Team getting drubbed by the Dallas Cowboys in primetime was already demoralizing enough.
What made the loss all the more humiliating, though, was when two of the club’s most recognizable faces, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, were milliseconds away from dropping the gloves.
After Payne pointed his finger in Allen’s face, the Pro Bowl defensive tackle threw a punch that thankfully didn’t connect.
Nearby teammates and coaches separated the teammates before anything overly violent escalated, but that didn’t stop Payne from spewing profanities in Allen’s direction from the opposite side of the bench.
While Payne and Allen have since cleared the air, the scuffle reintroduced the idea that Payne might be the odd man out on Washington’s defensive line when it comes to who won’t receive an extension from the franchise.
Fans have been reluctant to buy into that notion, but Payne stoked the rumors after he removed all traces of Washington from his Instagram account.
Will Washington Football Team star Daron Payne request a trade?
Ignore the caption, because a Deshaun Watson trade isn’t happening. The Texans superstar would have to accept a trade to Washington, and he appears to have his sights set on joining the QB-needy Dolphins.
Even if Watson was open to the idea of playing in Landover, would it really be a good idea for a franchise that was just investigated for workplace misconduct that allegedly includes extensive instances of sexual assault, to trade for a quarterback that is currently facing 21 lawsuits of sexual assault and misconduct?
With that out of the way, though, it’s worth pondering if Payne’s cryptic Instagram message could prelude a trade request. The former No. 13 overall pick wouldn’t delete all of his Washington-related posts if he was content with his current situation and he’s due for an extension in the offseason.
Given Payne’s output and the fact he’s played in all but one game over his first three-plus seasons, he shouldn’t play another year on his rookie deal.
However, Terry McLaurin is likely first in extension pecking order and signing both players in one offseason could limit Washington’s ability to bolster other areas of the roster in free agency.
And let’s be honest. This roster needs a lot of fine-tuning. Not to mention that guys like JD McKissic, Charles Leno, DeAndre Carter, Danny Johnson, Tim Settle, Cam Sims and Joey Slye will all become free agents at season’s end.
If Payne doesn’t wanna be here, that makes everything a lot simpler. All of a sudden, Washington can float him in trade talks for a quarterback (cough cough Derek Carr or Russell Wilson) or another position of need.
Who knows if it will even come to that, but Payne wouldn’t remove all traces of his time in Washington from Instagram if he wasn’t trying to establish some sort of leverage over the front office.
With two games left on the schedule, we’ll know soon enough if it has more to do with money or wanting out.