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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(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) David Onyemata /

Commanders could sign David Onyemata

As the New Orleans Saints get set to commence their annual salary-cap gymnastics to get under the current figure allocated by the NFL, one or two veterans will likely end up seeking pastures new. One, in particular, should have the Washington Commanders’ attention if terms surrounding a new deal cannot be agreed upon with Daron Payne.

David Onyemata is a productive veteran presence that can step in immediately and make a telling contribution. He was a key cog on the Saints’ defensive line interior once again last season thanks to his well-rounded efforts in all phases.

Onyemata might be on the wrong side of 30 years old now, but that shouldn’t put the Commanders off. Especially if Ron Rivera’s job status is hanging in the balance when Dan Snyder eventually sells up.

Slotting Onyemata onto a defensive line that includes Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, and Chase Young comes with untold potential. There is also the presence of Phidarian Mathis to consider – the second-round pick in 2022 who missed most of his rookie campaign through injury.

If Mathis shows enough this offseason, then spending big on Payne’s replacement might not be in Washington’s train of thought. Until then, everything is probably on the table in terms of contingency plans.

And if that ends up being Onyemata, it’s not a bad consolation prize by any stretch.

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