Daron Payne's 5th-Year Contract Option Reportedly Exercised by WFT

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIApril 26, 2021

Washington Football Team defensive tackle Daron Payne (94) runs off the field after warming up for an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Jennifer Stewart)
Jennifer Stewart/Associated Press

Daron Payne will stay in Washington, as the team has officially exercised the defensive tackle's fifth-year option, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post

The 23-year-old will earn about $8.5 million, which is fully guaranteed. 

Payne, the No. 13 overall pick by Washington out of Alabama in 2018, is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is on the books as a $4.59 million cap hit heading into 2021. The team's latest move keeps him on the roster until 2023. 

Payne started all 16 games for Washington last season, posted 54 combined tackles (seven for loss) and three sacks with eight quarterback hits. He broke up four passes and forced three fumbles—both career-highs—and logged his first career interception. 

He appeared in 84 percent of Washington's defensive snaps, up from 77 percent as a rookie when he was named to the Professional Football Writers of America's All-Rookie squad

Washington's defense was among the league's best in 2020, giving up 304.6 yards per game—the second-lowest in the league—while allowing a fourth-best 20.6 points to opponents. Payne will now be back to contribute to that group for at least the next two years.