Daron Payne - Commanders DT
The Washington Commanders made Daron Payne one of the league's highest-paid defensive tackles after a breakout campaign in 2022. It was a down year by his newfound high standards this season, but he wasn't alone in that regard as the defense spiraled quickly under the guidance of fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and ex-head coach Ron Rivera.
Payne looked a bit uninspired on occasion. He kept plugging away in difficult circumstances, but trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young before the deadline meant opposing protection schemes were able to focus their attention on limiting the interior pressure. Something that made putting up eye-catching numbers difficult.
Thankfully, Dan Quinn is here to change all that.
He'll have plenty of previous knowledge of Payne's capabilities having come up against him twice a season with the Dallas Cowboys. The experienced figure will also have a plan in mind to make the former Alabama star a truly dominant force.
Jonathan Allen's future doesn't seem all that clear-cut despite some positive comments once the hiring of Quinn was confirmed. The Commanders have a business decision to make with the veteran. As for Payne? It would be a huge disappointment if he didn't reap the benefits of working closely with his new head coach.