All eyes are on the Washington Commanders with the 2022 trade deadline right around the corner. With just days separating the Nov. 1 deadline, teams are seemingly chomping at the pit to pry Daron Payne from the nation’s capital.
According to The Athletic’s Ben Standig, there is “outside trade interest” in Payne, who’s playing the fifth and final year of his rookie contract and will become a free agent at season’s end, making him a more attractive trade chip.
Very few teams would turn their nose up at the idea of trading for an ascending interior defender and Payne’s playing the best football of his five-year career. Teams might be hesitant to absorb a player on an expiring contract, but his pending free agency likely means he can be had for a second- or third-round pick.
With Payne being one of a few players the Commanders will entertain shopping before the deadline, let’s take a stab at some potential landing spots for the 25-year-old stud. Fittingly, none of these squads reside in the NFC.
3 trade destinations for Commanders’ Daron Payne before deadline
3. Los Angeles Chargers
Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but the Chargers have been decimated by injuries. The offensive side of the ball has been worse with left tackle Rashawn Slater possibly done for the year and Mike Williams out several weeks just as Keenan Allen is returning, but the defense has been ravaged, too.
Free agent prize J.C. Jackson is done for the year with a knee injury and star defensive end Joey Bosa underwent groin surgery after Week 3. Khalil Mack’s bee on a one-man wrecking crew on the defensive line with six sacks and 23 pressures.
The interior defensive line has been non-existent with Jerry Tillery logging eight tackles and one sack. Sebastian Joseph-Day’s been more productive, but he would benefit from an imposing presence like Payne lining up alongside of him.
The Chargers’ defensive talent is undeniable, but they’ve allowed the seventh-most rushing yards, and the most yards per carry at 5.7. Payne is one of the best run-stuffing defenders in the entire NFL, so he’d pay immediate dividends in that regard.
Los Angeles has a long way to go until its fully healthy, and cornerback might be a more pressing need than defensive tackle, but a defensive front of Mack, Bosa, Payne and Joseph-Day would be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.