The Washington Commanders have already pulled off a blockbuster trade this offseason. Could Da’Ron Payne be next?
Acording to Ben Standig of The Athletic, Washington has gauged interest in trading Payne leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft.
‘The Athletic began hearing weeks ago, from multiple NFL teams and other sources, that the Commanders quietly let other teams know Payne is available for a trade. Considering the team’s salary-cap situation.”Report on potential Da’Ron Payne trade
The No. 13 pick of Washington back in 2018, Payne has started 58 of the 64 games he’s appeared with the team since entering the NFL. The former Alabama standout has recorded 35 quarterback hits and 14.5 sacks during that span.
At issue here for Washington is its cap situation after acquiring Carson Wentz in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts. Payne, 24, is set to count $8.57 million against the cap in 2022. If he’s made available, the defensive tackle would draw a nice amount of interest on the trade block. Below, we look at four ideal Da’Ron Payne trade scenarios.
Da’Ron Payne lands with the Cleveland Browns
Cleveland has already pulled off a blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson this offseason — limiting its 2022 NFL Draft capital. Perhaps, general manager Andrew Berry opts to move off another pick in this week’s draft to acquire a proven talent at a need position.
Payne is a perfect fit in defensive coordinator Joe Woods’ 4-3 scheme. We also expect Cleveland to target a defensive tackle in this year’s draft. Why not add someone with a history of success who has still yet to hit his prime? Payne would be a marked upgrade ofr Tommy Togiai next to Jordan Elliott. He’d also help Myles Garrett avoid too many double teams out on the edge.
Las Vegas Raiders bring in Da’Ron Payne
It’s no secret that Vegas has been active on the trade block under first-year general manager Dave Ziegler. The team has already acquired All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams and starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Could the Raiders turn around and bring in another starter on defense?
It almost makes sense under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who has had a first-row view of Payne’s career during his time with the New York Giants. Payne would bring a lot to the defensive line next to an underrated Johnathan Hankins. He’d also open things up for Maxx Crosby and the recently-acquired Chandler Jones out on the edge.
Indianapolis Colts team Da’Ron Payne up with DeForest Buckner
Just imagine how dominant the Colts’ defensive line would be if they added Payne to the mix. Earlier this offseason, general manager Chris Ballard acquired Yannick Ngakoue to pair up with former first-round pick Kwity Paye out on the edge.
If Indy is able to add Payne to the mix, it would create one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. DeForest Buckner is among the best pass-rushing defensive tackles in the NFL and has been dating back to his days with the San Francisco 49ers. Adding Payne would create a ton of mismatches for opposing teams as the Colts go all in after acquiring former NFL MVP Matt Ryan.
Related: 2022 NFL Draft rumors
Denver Broncos pull off blockbuster for Da’Ron Payne
Throughout his career, Payne has primarily played inside in 4-3 schemes. In no way does this mean that the 320-pound defender can’t play outside in a 3-4. That’s where the Broncos come into play. They’ve obviously decided to go all in following the Russell Wilson trade. There’s also a need outside in their schem under new defensvie coordinator Ejiro Evero.
During his time with the Packers, Mike Daniels played a similar role as what Evero might envision for Payne in Denver. He’d also help a ton when it comes to opening things up for a potentially dominant pair of edge rushers in Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory.