Payne had received the franchise tag from the Commanders before reaching agreement on his new deal.
Payne recorded a career-high 11.5 sacks last season — three shy of his combined total over his first four seasons. His previous high in sacks was in his rookie season, when he finished with five. Only two defensive tackles posted higher sack totals in 2023: the Kansas City Chiefs’ Chris Jones and the New York Jets’ Quinnen Williams.
Payne also finished tied for eighth in the NFL — and second among interior linemen — with 21 tackles for loss. Teammate Jon Allen recorded 19 tackles for loss along with 6.5 sacks, making this pair arguably the NFL’s best defensive interior tandem.