4 replacements if the Commanders cannot retain Daron Payne in 2023

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Daron Payne
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Daron Payne /
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(Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Tomlinson /

Commanders could sign Dalvin Tomlinson

If the Washington Commanders and Daron Payne go their separate ways in free agency, it leaves a hole that must be replaced effectively. Especially considering the pressure that could be on head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew if a new ownership group buys the franchise from Dan Snyder.

Going down the draft route represents a cheaper option, even if it might not come with the same immediate impact. That’s why acquiring a productive veteran from the free-agent pool is something else those in power should consider.

Looking at the available options, Dalvin Tomlinson is arguably the most intriguing. The defensive lineman has experience as an interior or edge presence in a 3-4 or 4-3 system, which is the sort of versatility that Jack Del Rio can put to good use if Payne departs.

Tomlinson’s best work throughout his career has come as a defensive tackle. Something that got a huge payday from the Minnesota Vikings when the New York Giants couldn’t muster enough financial resources to keep him on the books.

With the Vikings in some serious salary cap hell this offseason and wide receiver Justin Jefferson seeking a record-breaking contract, Tomlinson could be sacrificed as a result. This should be heavily discussed by the Commanders, although they won’t be alone in coveting the veteran when the madness begins.