NFC Notes: Daron Payne, Commanders, Eagles, Giants, Daniel Jones


The defensive line has been the strength of the team for a while in Washington, but it’s been assumed for a while that the Commanders just wouldn’t be able to afford to keep everyone. Commanders DT Daron Payne has figured to be the odd one out for a while now and has come up in trade rumors a few times as a result.

However, HC Ron Rivera seems to be shifting gears and recently talked up the importance of keeping Payne, even if it will cost a lot. The Commanders already have DT Jonathan Allen at $18 million a year and Payne probably ends up in that neighborhood. 

“You look at the defensive line and you’ve got these two tackles that we want to keep together,” Rivera said via NBC Sports’ JP Finlay. “We want to do everything we can to keep them together.”

“We know it’s going to be hard but we’re going to do it,” Rivera added.

  • According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Commanders DE Chase Young looked like he took a jump forward in his recovery this week, and seemed more comfortable with his knee and operating in pads. 
  • The team is still taking a wait-and-see approach with Young before putting him back on the field but Breer says he at least looks like he’s making progress. 


Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon had high praise of recently signed DTs Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph following their Week 11 win over the Colts. 

“Suh and LJ, they’ve played a lot of ball and they’re smart individuals. They understand what’s going on. Once they put it in their language, it was, Hey, go out and play. And that’s what they did. It was good to get those guys in here, and they played well,” Gannon said, via ProFootballTalk.

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler expects Gannon and Eagles OC Shane Steichen to be in demand for interview requests during the upcoming coaching cycle. 
  • Eagles HC Nick Sirianni said there have been more designed runs for QB Jalen Hurts in an effort to create advantages on offense. (Zach Berman)


The Giants had extension talks with RB Saquon Barkley during their bye week. They did not do the same with QB Daniel Jones. Maybe that’s a hint for how New York will prioritize the two this offseason, maybe it’s just an indication of how negotiations will be different for both players. Regardless, Jones says he’s not worried about his contract too much right now. 

“I don’t read into it too much,” Jones said via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. “I’m going to control what I can and play as well as I possibly can. Then let the rest of it work itself out. That has been my mindset. I don’t think that has changed at this point.”

  • Raanan notes the Giants are still evaluating whether Jones is someone they want to build the team around going forward. Their decision is complicated by having only one franchise tag and two candidates with Jones and Barkley. 
  • There were split opinions on what the Giants should do on the NFL personnel Raanan polled. One NFC GM thought New York should extend Jones, another NFC exec said “no way” because Jones is too limited as a passer.
  • A third exec with negotiating experience thought the Giants should try to sign Jones to a mid-level deal in the $15-$20 million range, and another source compared Jones’ situation to Saints QB Jameis Winston who signed a deal like that. However, Jones’ age and the demand for quarterbacks around the league could drive his market up, per Raanan. 
  • Ultimately, Raanan says the remainder of the season will still offer valuable evaluation time for the Giants and Jones, who needs to stay healthy and continue avoiding turnovers as he has so far this season. 

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