Butler's agent has exchanged proposals with New Orleans' management, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, and the two sides are not far apart on numbers.
Until Butler signs his $3.91 million tender, New England has no incentive to take action.
If New Orleans' decision-makers were to balk at that first-round price tag, they would have to come up with a different package of picks to meet New England's demands.
Bottom line? It's still premature to assume that Butler will be playing in a different uniform this season.