3 overlooked takeaways from Commanders’ final set of OTAs
By Jerry Trotta
2. No Worries About Daron Payne
Along with McLaurin, Payne skipped Wednesday’s voluntary session after he was a consistent presence over the first three weeks of practice. Reports indicate Payne is disgruntled over the lack of motivation to extend his contract, but Ron Rivera insists the standout defender has conducted himself like a professional.
When asked if he senses any frustration with Payne, Rivera said:
"“No, I don’t. And in talking with Daron and stuff like that, Daron’s doing what he feels is better for him right now, as far as that situation. So we respect that. For the most part he’s communicated with us about what’s going on with him, and he’s been great about that."
Doesn’t sound like anything worthy of an overreaction. Rivera even noted Payne’s kept a routine since the start of OTAs. Essentially, Payne participates in the first half of practice before he skips team drills and heads to the facility to lift weights. That workout is overseen by the team’s strength coach. When it’s over, the former first-round pick reports back to the club for post-practice meetings.
It sounds like Payne is looking out for his best interests ahead of a contract year. No sense risking an injury when he’s on the cusp of inking a life-changing contract. Whether that’s with the Commanders or some other team remains to be seen, but Payne being a part-timer at OTAs is a nothing-burger.