The sides already have begun feeling each other out on Dalton's price tag.
"There have been talks about it. There have been a couple of proposals sent over and different things," Dalton told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday. "We're working. Hopefully, we can get something done.
"I'm not too worried about it. I know in the right timing, everything is going to happen. Obviously, everyone would like to get something done sooner rather than later."
"We are hopeful we can get a deal done," Lewis said at the NFL Annual Meeting last week. "That doesn't preclude us from doing everything else we also want to continue to do -- and soon -- because we are sitting on a chunk of cap in order to get him done and continue to put the team together around him."
The surrounding talent has improved the past two years. Dalton's decision-making and field vision have not.
Brown has to decide if that's a horse worth backing. We suspect he will be reluctant to meet Dalton's asking price, ultimately procrastinating until next offseason -- and perhaps hedging his bets with a young quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft.