ASHBURN- – According to multiple sources speaking to WashingtonSI, we can confirm that WFT defensive tackle Daron Payne will play on fifth-year contract option for 2022.
READ MORE: Payne Gets Fifth-Year Option
The move was expected and makes perfect sense because it allows the Washington Football Team to have Payne under a reasonable cost for the next two years – and then they could even franchise tag him in 2023, if they wanted to.
Three years of quality cost control and planning is extremely important for Washington as they try and figure out the cap-anomics puzzle of having so many productive young pieces while awaiting as the cap rebounds.
Jonathan Allen is set to play 2021 on his fifth-year option. The hope is the WFT can come to terms on a long-term deal after a successful transition to a 4-3 front.
The only wrinkle is that the fifth-year options now in the NFL (only available to first-round picks) are fully guaranteed when elected as opposed to the old collective bargaining agreement which only guaranteed an option for injury and not skill.
A contract extension can supersede the option year. For that matter, in this year, it would be a wise idea to start getting things done with Allen.
We believe Payne is a good player with explosive tendencies, but his performance has not yet been as dominant as you would hope. With the talent surrounding him and considering he was the 13th overall pick in 2018, one would have expected consistent Pro Bowl results.
The overall feeling in evaluation of Payne is mixed. Sometimes he’d be completely invisible and would struggle to stop the run. At other times, he was a monster both stopping the run and bull-rushing up the middle.
Per ProFootballFocus.com, Payne had an overall 70.6 grade in 2020 on 948 snaps. His run defense was a 74.8 while his pass rushing grade was lower at 62.5.
Payne had 37 total pressures per PFF with 26 of those being QB hurries.
Payne forced three fumbles and only missed two tackles per PFF’s charting grades.
Washington will have a tough decision down the road. They may have to choose between a long-term deal for Allen or Payne. Should they sign both, it likely means they will watch either Montez Sweat or Chase Young walk after their rookie contracts – and obviously letting Young, especially, outside this building is a poor idea.
With Tim Settle and Matt Ioannidis are still here, it will be difficult to see them being able to pay everyone on the defensive line along with William Jackson III and Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas and whoever else could be up for a pay day over the next two seasons.
But that’s the way the puzzle works. For now, Payne is a fifth-year fitting piece.