Commanders DT Daron Payne's mindset
After missing the first two days of practice with a minor toe issue, Daron Payne returned to great fanfare on Friday. This was also his first camp session since signing his lucrative four-year, $90 million deal with $59 million guaranteed to prevent him from leaving in free agency.
Payne hit the ground running as part of a defensive line that is expected to be among the Washington Commanders' biggest strengths next season. Jack Del Rio even experimented with a five-man front during drills, slotting Phidarian Mathis in as a nose tackle and clogging up space for others to work around him.
The responsibility associated with such a big deal isn't going unnoticed by Payne based on his comments via The Washington Times. The former Alabama stud also revealed that the defensive line is taking the team's financial faith seriously in pursuit of great things.
"I just (wanted) to get the deal done so I can focus on what I like to do. It ain’t about validating nothing. I like playing football. I love coming up here every day, showing all the hard work that I put in and I love making plays. I know they put a lot of capital into the D-Line room, so we like to put that on our shoulders and we take it head on. We know they like to put us on the field, and we love being on the field."- Daron Payne via Washington Times
It's clear getting paid hasn't lessened Payne's thirst for success. If everyone stays clear of injury - especially where Mathis and Chase Young are concerned - this will be the best defensive line in football.