Defensive tackle Daron Payne has come alive over the past few seasons with the Washington Commanders. The Commanders don't plan on letting Payne leave town. They're prepared to spend a pretty penny to keep their star defender in Washington.

The Commanders are planning to franchise tag Payne, via Ben Standig of The Athletic. The franchise tag for defensive tackles sits at $18.94 million.

Daron Payne started all 17 games for Washington this past season. He racked up 64 tackles, 20 quarterback hits and 11.5 sacks. All three marked career-highs for the defensive tackle as Payne was voted to his first Pro Bowl.

Alongside being a career-high, Payne's 11.5 sacks led the Commanders and tied for 12th-most in the NFL. As a whole, Payne helped lead a Washington defense that ranked third-best in the league, allowing 304.6 yards per game. They were fourth in passing defense (191.3 YPG) and 11th in rushing defense (113.3 YPG).

While Payne shined as a pass rusher in 2022, he has been dominant in the gun game throughout his career. From 2018-2020, Payne's 86 defensive stops against the run were the most in the NFL, via Pro Football Focus. He has added to his arsenal ever since, accruing 95 quarterback pressures since 2021.

Payne is just 25-years-old and has already established himself as a versatile and ferocious defender. As the Commanders look to make a postseason run, they understand that their best chance of success comes with Payne in the middle of their defensive line.

Washington will be paying Payne almost $20 million on the franchise tag. But for the Commanders, that is money well spent. They'll hope they could parlay the tag into a long-term deal with Payne.