Report: Commanders' Payne skips OTA amid contract uncertainty
Payne's absence comes two days after he reportedly walked off the practice field and skipped team drills, frustrated with the lack of a contract extension. He did, however, participate in team meetings and the post-practice lifting session Tuesday.
The 2018 first-round pick is set to earn $8.5 million in the final year of his rookie contract. Payne established career highs last season with 61 tackles and 15 quarterback hits to go along with 4.5 sacks.
Payne is seeking a long-term commitment similar to that of teammate Jonathan Allen who inked a four-year, $72-million contract extension last summer.
It's uncertain whether the Commanders are willing to sign the 24-year-old to a lucrative deal. Washington used a 2022 draft pick on Phidarian Mathis who could potentially replace Payne in the future.
Payne isn't the only player skipping OTA sessions this week. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin is avoiding the team facility while waiting for an extension. Montez Sweat is also away, but head coach Ron Rivera said the pass-rusher is attending to a personal issue, and he expects him to return next week.