ASHBURN — Discussing his free agency options, Daron Payne doesn’t seem to have a preference for where he’ll play next season. “I just want what I won,” he said. And last season, the Washington Commanders defensive tackle seemed to gain a lot.
With his contract set to expire in March, Payne finished the 2022 season with a career-high 11½ sacks – the most by one Washington inside defensive lineman since Dave Butz in 1983.
“You know what I want, man,” Payne said. “It goes without saying.”
To keep Payne, the commanders will have to open the checkbook. But who will sign those checks is an even more relevant topic. As players cleaned out their lockers on Monday, a day after Sunday’s 26-6 season finale win over the Dallas Cowboys to finish 8-8-1, WashingtonThe uncertainty of ownership has clouded what appears to be a vital offseason for the franchise.
NFL players are used to the attrition that comes with being in the league. Some will leave and others will enter. Coaches and executives come and go. But radical changes in ownership are much rarer.
By the time the players return to the facility to begin off-season training, a new owner could very well be in place. But until then, with owner Dan Snyder exploring a sale, Commanders are essentially in limbo.
“When you have a change – a new owner or a new coach – that changes everything,” wide receiver Terry McLaurin said, “Because, I’ll be honest, it’s a business and when new people come in, they don’t don’t really. pledge allegiance to you. That goes for me too.
Before a new owner potentially takes over, one of the main questions commanders face is how active the team will be if this is Snyder’s final months.
Snyder, a source said, was not in Sunday’s win over Dallas, although co-owner and wife Tanya Snyder did attend. Last week, coach Ron Rivera said he thought he had full leeway to make the necessary changes, but added he had yet to meet with the Snyders to discuss the offseason.
Rivera said after Sunday’s game he would use the next week to assess whether any changes to his coaching staff were needed.
Although Scott Turner signed a contract extension last offseason, the Washington The offensive coordinator has come under scrutiny in recent weeks as the commanders’ offense has regressed.
In three years, Turner’s units have ranked 32nd, 21st and 28th in offensive DVOA, a Football Outsiders metric that measures efficiency – leading to widespread criticism, including from the tight end’s wife Logan Thomas. In an Instagram post, Brandie Thomas appeared to challenge Turner over the weekend for her husband’s lack of red zone targets – writing “you think if you had guns you would use them?”
“She can speak for herself,” Logan Thomas said Monday, later adding, “She knows I’m doing a good job in the red zone scoring runs. That’s really where it came from, from a love perspective for me, so I have nothing but love for her and respect.
Elsewhere, virtually all players interviewed in WashingtonThe locker room said it would not be concerned this offseason about a possible change of ownership. Some, after all, had gone through the process before. Former Carolina owner Jerry Richardson sold his team to billionaire David Tepper in 2018 – a year in which Tyler Larsen, Curtis Samuel, Trai Turner and a few other commanders played for the Panthers.
Larsen said the uncertainty of Carolina’s situation at the time “didn’t really change much” for the players, and he credited Rivera for providing stability. Turner, WashingtonThe starting right guard also noted how Rivera guided Carolina through a turbulent time.
“Even if it affects you, you have nothing to say,” the offensive lineman said of a potential change in ownership. “As far as this situation here, who knows, man? I just know Coach Rivera is a great coach.
Rivera, barring an unforeseen change, could be tasked with being in a similar position again.
“It’s definitely uncertain,” McLaurin said. “There are a lot of things that can change outside the norm of each attrition. We all understand that in this locker room, being professionals.