3 realistic scenarios after Commanders franchise tag Daron Payne

(Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports) Daron Payne
(Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports) Daron Payne /
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What realistic scenarios could emerge now that the Washington Commanders have placed the franchise tag on defensive tackle Daron Payne?

In a move that was expected by many, the Washington Commanders formally placed the franchise tag on Daron Payne in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Something that ensures he won’t be hitting the free-agent market this spring.

Payne took a significant leap forward in 2022 en route to 11.5 sacks and his first Pro Bowl selection. This is obviously going to see additional dollars go onto his contract demands, but the tag allows those in power a little extra time to work on a potential extension if some common ground can be reached.

Letting Payne walk for nothing wasn’t ever going to happen. But what comes next between the former first-round pick and the franchise is still to be determined.

With this in mind, here are three realistic scenarios that could emerge now that the Commanders have the franchise tag on Payne.

Realistic Scenario No. 1

(Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) Daron Payne /

Commanders tie Daron Payne down long-term

Placing the franchise tag on Daron Payne does not mean a long-term agreement cannot be reached. It merely provides the Washington Commanders with additional breathing space to work something out with the one-time Alabama stud.

This is the best-case scenario, especially if last season’s production was a sign of things to come for Payne. A player that would have been highly coveted on the free-agent market before the Commanders took the necessary steps.