What a year it has been for Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne.
At this time last year, the Commanders were prepared to let Payne play out his fifth-year option and test free agency. There were no deep discussions about the team wanting to extend Payne beyond 2023.
The Commanders gambled, and Payne made them pay — literally.
After Payne set career highs in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks, and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl, Washington applied the franchise tag on the fifth-year defensive tackle.
Shortly before free agency began, Payne and the Commanders agreed to a four-year deal worth $90 million, the second-most ever for a defensive tackle at that time.
Payne was relieved to remain in the burgundy and gold and thanked head coach Ron Rivera and others for believing in him. But the person Payne was the most thankful is his mother, something he has shared on more than one occasion.
Last week at the Burgundy & Gold Banquet, Payne was awarded the Quarterback Club of Washington’s Player of the Year Award for 2022. He took the stage with his mom by his side and praised his mother.
Check it out.
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) May 14, 2023
That’s excellent stuff. What a Mother’s Day treat for Payne’s mother.
Payne also thanked all of his teammates and coaches.