The window for applying the franchise tag opened today. Before it closes in two weeks, it’s virtually certain that one of the tags will be applied by the Commanders to defensive tackle Daron Payne.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it’s 99.9 likely that the Commanders will tag the 2018 first-round draft pick from Alabama.
The thirteenth overall pick, Payne was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2022. He has missed only one game during his five-year NFL career.
The news will disappoint Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who told PFT Live during Super Bowl week that he’d like to see the Cowboys sign Payne during free agency.
The Commanders and Payne will have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal, if/when the tag is applied. In theory, a multi-year contract could happen before March 7, avoiding application of the tag.
At this point, all signs are pointing to the tag for Payne, on or before March 7.