Commanders finally doing business the right way without Dan Snyder

(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) Dan Snyder
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) Dan Snyder /

Extending Daron Payne is another indicator that the Washington Commanders are finally doing business the right way without Dan Snyder’s influence.

Dan Snyder has been banished to the proverbial sidelines over the last year. The Washington Commanders owner has dealt and is dealing with scandal and concerning allegations that will likely see the billionaire sell the franchise before the 2023 season begins, which represents the dawning of a new era in no uncertain terms.

Snyder’s time with the Commanders ends in disgrace and with almost no prolonged success on the field. His meddling in team affairs was renowned and held Washington back in a big way, with a crumbling stadium and lackluster facilities coming up in a recent NFLPA survey that could jeopardize hopes of attracting good free agents this offseason.

Thankfully, this is almost at an end. And there are clear signs that the Commanders are doing business the right way at long last.

Commanders are getting business done correctly at last

Getting a lucrative, long-term extension done with Daron Payne on the eve of the legal tampering period beginning was sensational news. The stud defensive tackle makes $60 million guaranteed over the next four years and it also freed up some vital funds for Washington to spend on other position groups if they see fit.

More importantly, this was the Commanders taking care of one of their own. A stark contrast from Snyder’s methods of shooting for big-name free agents with little success.

Payne joins an increasing list that also includes Jonathan Allen and Terry McLauring as recent high draftees who penned extensions. This represents a positive change in direction and gives the Commanders a top-level young core to build a future contender.

Martin Mayhew, Ron Rivera, and Marty Hurney deserve credit for thriving without Snyder influencing matters in his usual unproductive way. The owner still needs to put up the escrow for contract extensions, obviously,  but there’s been a notable shift over the last two years and long may it continue.

All signs point to Snyder selling up sooner rather than later. A move that will be universally well-received when the news is finally confirmed.

Until then, fans can relax safe in the knowledge this newfound approach will lay better foundations for a profitable future. And if the necessary reinforcements are acquired during free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft, the Commanders could end up becoming a dark horse playoff challenger in the fourth season under Rivera.

There was a level of nervousness about Payne’s situation this offseason, which isn’t surprising considering what’s gone on for the majority of Snyder’s tenure. However, the team acted swiftly and with conviction thanks to the franchise tag and a bumper contract to alleviate doubts once and for all.

The times are changing where the Commanders are concerned. With it comes positivity, emerging from the darkest cloud imaginable, and hopefully, returning to the NFL’s top table after languishing in mediocrity or worse for so long.

A lot of hard work remains in the coming weeks. Washington must make massive improvements to their offensive line, find a veteran quarterback to compete with Sam Howell, and secure a prolific cornerback among other pressing matters.

However, it’s been a successful offseason so far. And it comes as no coincidence that Snyder isn’t factoring all that much into their thought process.

The only way is up.

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