Da’Ron Payne joins Josh Jacobs as the second Alabama football alum that’s trying to earn a bigger contract with his current NFL team or a different franchise.
Payne got selected at No. 13 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by Washington. The franchise went through three different names, but it is known as the Commanders. In his fifth season, the Birmingham (Ala.) native became an explosive interior pass rusher.
He recorded 11.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss, both are team-highs. Payne totaled 64 tackles in the regular season, five pass breakups, and a fumble recovers for the Commanders. He set a career-high for sacks and finished slightly outside the top 10 (No. 12) in the league among pass rushers. Payne’s success allowed him to be added to the NFL Pro Bowl roster, joining his former Alabama teammate and current NFL teammate, Jonathan Allen. The 6-foot-3, 320-pounder will be an unrestricted free agent after the NFL season ends. Washington could re-sign him to a bigger contract or Payne could test the market and bet on himself.
Commanders DT Daron Payne replaces Aaron Donald in the Pro Bowl Games.
Payne joins DT Jonathan Allen, WR Terry McLaurin, P Tress Way and special-teamer Jeremy Reaves as Washington reps.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) January 19, 2023
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) January 19, 2023
He came to the University of Alabama as an elite five-star in the 2015 class.
Payne helped the Crimson Tide to two College Football Playoff National Championships in 2015 and 2017. He earned Freshman All-American honors in 2015 and first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors in 2017.
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