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Commanders place franchise tag on Pro Bowl DT Daron Payne for 2023 season

The Washington Commanders have placed their franchise tag on defensive tackle Daron Payne, the team announced on Tuesday

Washington is the first team to use the tag this offseason.

As a defensive tackle, Payne is expected to earn $18.937 million under the tag for the 2023 season, per Over The Cap. Washington has until July 15 to try to reach a long-term deal with Payne.

Payne earned his first Pro Bowl selection of his five-year career in 2022, racking up career highs in sacks (11.5), QB hits (20) and tackles for loss (18). He's missed just one game since Washington drafted him 13th overall in 2018.

Payne was ranked No. 11 in Gregg Rosenthal's Top 101 NFL free agents of 2023.

With Chase Young out for most of the 2022 season, Payne helped lead Washington's third-ranked team defense and the fourth-best passing defense. Even though the Commanders were the only team out of the NFC East to miss the playoffs, Washington finished the season 8-8-1.

On Monday, the Commanders released veteran quarterback Carson Wentz and slot cornerback/safety Bobby McCain. The decision to move on from Wentz saved the Commanders $26.2 million in cap space.

Washington's free agents to-be this offseason include QB Taylor Heinicke and 11 others.

Head coach Ron Rivera is expected to talk to the media at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday at noon ET. General manager Martin Mayhew will speak to the media on Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET.

It's been a busy offseason for Washington as it has hired a new offensive coordinator in Eric Bieniemy. The former Chiefs offensive coordinator will also carry an assistant head coach title on Rivera's staff.

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