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Commanders place franchise tag on Daron Payne

Mike Florio and Chris Simms evaluate how important it is for NFL coaches to go to the Scouting Combine, given free agency is around the corner, and how much those drills can indicate a player’s potential.

As expected, the Commanders have placed the franchise tag on defensive tackle Daron Payne.

The Commanders made it official and franchised Payne this morning, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. That means Payne has the option to sign for a fully guaranteed $18.937 million for the 2023 season. He also has the option to negotiate a long-term deal with the Commanders, and to negotiate with other teams, although if he signed with another team that team would have to send the Commanders two first-round draft picks or work out another trade agreement with the Commanders.

Payne is the first player to get the franchise tag so far this offseason.

Payne was the 13th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft and was a Pro Bowler last season. He has only missed one game in his five-year NFL career.