Sean Payton says Saints won't sign Malcolm Butler to offer sheet

Sean Payton says Saints won't sign Malcolm Butler to offer sheet

"We're not going to sign him to an offer sheet and give up the 11th pick", Payton said, and also called the visit with Butler as an "exploratory mission".

The coach wouldn't speculate on any potential trade scenarios that could bring Butler to New Orleans. Both of these require him to sign his tender, as the Patriots can't talk with other teams on a trade until his tender is signed.

Today, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report says Manziel will not be joining the Saints. "Making a decision is a different story, but the idea of going through the process and the evaluation I think that's important for us to do that". So we met for breakfast, the first time having a chance to talk to him.

"I'll leave it at that", Payton said Wednesday at the NFC coaches breakfast at the league meetings in Phoenix.

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According to ESPN's Mike Triplett, Payton said that the Cooks trade was not a situation where "we felt like we've gotta make this trade or else".

Asked if the Saints would like to sign Butler if circumstances changed, Payton said, "Listen, he's a guy that we thought enough of in this process". I'm sure he's got a handful of things he's got to do stepwise to put himself back into position to sign with a club and play football again.

However, Payton made it clear that it was nothing more than a meeting.

Payton told the New Orleans Saints' website Tuesday that it was the first time he met Manziel. "I think part of the report that insinuated that it was moving in that direction, I think that was false". The Saints aren't looking to replace Zach Strief this year at right tackle, but I think that is the plan for a year down the road. He described the meeting with Manziel as a way to get to know him, and he pointed to his own 2012 suspension and absence from that draft as one reason he wanted to meet with the oft-troubled QB. We think it's a good draft defensively. That means that, to sign Butler, the Saints would have to beat the Patriots' offer and give away a first-round pick.