With the trade deadline a week away, there will be a number of prominent veterans discussed as potential trade targets.
One of those standout players is Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne, who is playing through a contract year. He is a player the Arizona Cardinals should consider.
According to Athletic writer Ben Standig, teams have begun calling the Commanders about a potential Payne deal, one that is expected to net Washington a 2023 Day 2 draft selection.
The Commanders have a very young defensive line, all of which are expected to receive contract extensions in the near future. Payne may be the odd man out and the team would be wise to move him for draft capital now if they don’t feel they will agree to an extension in the offseason.
General manager Steve Keim has long sought an impact defensive tackle. He missed on former first-round selection Robert Nkemdiche. He loved Quinnen Williams in the 2019 draft, but Kyler Murray was the obvious choice there. Keim and the front office also were infatuated with Derrick Brown in the 2020 Draft, but he was selected the pick before theirs.
Payne is a former first-round selection and is one of the best interior defensive lineman in the league. He’s performing at a high level this season, with 3.5 sacks on the year to this point.
The Cardinals could certainly use help at the edge rusher position, but Payne is such a force from the interior that they could likely get away with what they currently have on the outside if they acquired him. The addition of Payne with J.J. Watt and Zach Allen is a very formidable unit.
If the Cardinals acquired Payne, it would be a long-term move, one that is intended on keeping him in Arizona on a multi-year extension. It would solve a glaring weakness of the Cardinals the past few seasons with flying colors.