Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne became the first player to receive the franchise tag this offseason, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. If he signs the deal, Payne will earn an estimated $18.937 million, per Schefter, on a fully guaranteed one-year deal.
More than anything, this extends the window for Payne and the Commanders to negotiate a long-term extension. The two sides would have had until Mar. 15 — the official start of free agency and the 2023 league year — to agree on a new deal. But now, the Commanders have until July 17 to sign Payne. Worst case: Payne plays the 2023 season on the franchise tag and the cycle restarts next offseason.
This story will be updated.