Chicago Bears free agency

Bears free-agent target Daron Payne gets franchise tag from Commanders

So much for the Chicago Bears adding Washington Commanders star defensive lineman Daron Payne this offseason. The Commanders have placed the franchise tag on Payne, all but erasing him from the 2023 free-agent market.

The Chicago Bears are entering free agency with the most money to spend, and Payne was long considered a target to get the biggest payday from GM Ryan Poles. His standing as one of the NFL’s best young interior defensive linemen matched perfectly with one of the Bears’ biggest needs: a three technique in coach Matt Eberflus’ defense.

Payne, 25, finished the 2022 season with 64 tackles and 11.5 sacks.

With Daron Payne off the market, the Chicago Bears will likely turn their attention to Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman, Javon Hargrave.

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