ASHBURN, Va (WDVM) — Washington Football Team defensive tackle Daron Payne is in his fourth year with the team, and is trending in the right direction.

Through 16 games this season, Payne’s numbers are as followed: 31 solo tackles (24 assisted), 6 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks.

“I think he took a big step compared to last year,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “It may not show in numbers and you’re not gonna see that all the time from defensive tackles. What you have to see is the whole picture when it comes to those guys.”

Rivera also mentioned during his press conference Friday afternoon that since he’s been head coach at Washington, this year was the best he’s seen from Payne.

“I thought he was an explosive guy that got vertical, made some plays behind the line of scrimmage that we needed,” said Rivera. “I think he’s a guy that’s going to continue to grow.”

For Payne, this season could be pivotal for what’s next for the young defensive lineman as he is due for a new contract. His teammate Jonathan Allen, who has been a close friend of his since their days at Alabama, was already extended during last offseason. So, could this offseason be Payne’s turn to get the big money?