Payton: no offer sheet for Malcolm Butler

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on from the sidelines during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Saints head coach Sean Payton said Wednesday the club will not surrender their first pick in the draft, #11, for Patriots restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler.

If the Saints signed Butler to an offer sheet, New England could refuse to match and pick up the first round pick.

“Currently, it is my understanding that he hasn’t signed his tender and so we can sign him to an offer sheet, but I don’t think we are going to do that and give up the 11th pick in the draft,” said Payton at the NFL Owners meetings in Phoenix.

“I know we are not going to do that,” said Payton, emphatically.

Payton confirmed that he did visit with former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel during Super Bowl week in Houston. but Payton refuted what he said was a report that the Saints would consider signing Manziel.

Payton was asked what Manziel would have to do to earn a spot on the roster?

“There are a handful of things that he would have to do, and yet I think part of the report insinuated that this was moving in that direction and I am just going to say it was false,” said Payton.

“Now, I am sitting here answering 15 questions over a reporter’s report. I met with him, we had a good breakfast and it was that.”

Payton was asked if he would ponder taking a quarterback early in the draft?

“If we felt we had a grade on a player that matched the pick absolutely and I would say this would be the case last year, and the case the year prior,” said Payton.

Starting quarterback Drew Brees, currently in the final year of a two year extension, turns 39 next January.

Payton said he expects Brees to play 2,3, or even 4 more years.