Daron Payne walks off field at OTAs amid Commanders contract dispute

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A member of the Washington Commanders’ talented defensive front appears to be very unhappy when it comes to his future with the team.

A season after capturing the NFC East title with a 7-9 record, Ron Rivera’s team once again came away with seven victories. But that was only good enough for a third-place finish in the division.

There were many reasons for Washington’s disappointing 2021 showing. And one of those was the play of a defensive unit that looked pretty fearsome the previous year. Under the command of coordinator Jack Del Rio, the “Football Team” allowed the second-fewest total yards and passing yards in the NFL.

Such was not the case a year ago. And opposing quarterbacks had their way with Rivera’s club. A once-potent pass rush slumped from 47 sacks to 38 QB traps and Washington gave up a league-high 34 touchdown passes. Some of that was the midseason loss of end Chase Young. But the issues began before he went down.

Hence the Washington defense is looking to bounce back after a rough showing. But one of the vital cogs of a first-round laden front four is not very happy these days.

Commanders: Daron Payne walks out of practice, skips rest of meetings

Courtesy of The Atlantic via a source, four-year defensive tackle Daron Payne is apparently not very happy with the fact that the team will not offer him an extension.

The former University of Alabama standout was the 13th overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. The organization did pick up his fifth-year option a year ago. This past season, he started all 17 games, totaled 4.5 sacks and finished with a career-best 61 tackles.

As for Tuesday’s OTAs, Payne’s afternoon did end on a somewhat positive note.

If the Commanders are to post their first winning season since 2016 and push the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, the team needs all hands on deck. It will be interesting to see how the Payne story plays out. Washington needs a defensive effort similar to 2020 if they are to be a serious contender this season.

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