3 reasons Commanders extending Daron Payne was the right call

(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) Daron Payne
(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) Daron Payne /
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(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Daron Payne /

Daron Payne is ascending

The Washington Commanders gave Daron Payne all the motivation he needed for a true breakout campaign in 2022. Not extending the player ahead of time was a calculated gamble that cost them more money in the long run, but it was a risk worth taking given how their first-round pick took a significant leap forward in Year 5 of his professional career.

Payne was a pass-rushing menace on the interior en route to 11.5 sacks. The player is clearly ascending heading into his prime years, so allowing him to walk in free agency was simply not an option.

This is a premier defensive tackle that would have been snapped up in a blink of an eye. And considering what other players at the position are going for on the free-agent market, this is a good deal all things considered.

The one-time Alabama standout will continue his dominant partnership with Jonathan Allen on the interior. Montez Sweat will be looking to put up the sack numbers needed for a lucrative payday of his own, with the prospect of Chase Young bouncing back from some severe injury complications something else that cannot be ruled out.

Payne will be brimming with confidence after his exceptional 2022 season and the faith placed in him by the front office. So expect much more from the player moving forward.