This Browns-Commanders Trade Sends Daron Payne To Cleveland

Daron Payne, Browns, Commanders
NFL Analysis Network

The Washington Commanders have started showing some signs of life in the last few weeks. They have won two games in a row, pushing their record to 3-4 on the season. That puts them squarely in the playoff mix in the NFC, where only five teams have a better record. Unfortunately for Washington, three of them reside in the NFC East. Could a trade with the Cleveland Browns be on the horizon?

Already 0-2 in the division, the Commanders certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to earning a playoff spot. But, being in the mix after already suffering a four-game losing streak this season is about all they could ask for.

That puts them in a tough spot with just a week until the NFL trade deadline. If Washington believes that they can make a playoff push, which could be the case after they defeated the Green Bay Packers in Week 7, they will keep their roster and look to make upgrades. If not, they have some solid players they could trade away for draft capital.

One of those players would be defensive tackle Daron Payne. The Alabama product who was selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft No. 13 overall, is in the midst of what could be his best professional season. He already has 3.5 sacks, only 1.5 off from his career-high, with five tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits and 24 combined tackles.

“You see those little detail things of his game starting to come out; that’s what you’re looking for,” head coach Ron Rivera said.

In the final season of his rookie contract, it makes sense that teams have inquired about his availability. The Commanders turned down those trade talks over the offseason and it seems that they are still doing the same right now.

If they change their mind before November 1st, there should be plenty of interest in Payne. One team to keep an eye on is the Cleveland Browns, who have shown that they are willing to make a move despite having a losing record thus far this season.

Shoring up their defense would go a long way to getting things back on track as they await the return of Deshaun Watson. They are near the bottom of the NFL in points allowed and lack depth on the interior of their defense.

There were reports that Payne could fetch a Day 2 pick in a trade, which the Browns do have available. They have one second-round pick and a third-round pick, either of which should get the job done when it comes to acquiring Payne.