"Currently it's my understanding that he hasn't signed his tender," Payton said at the Annual League Meeting on Wednesday. "We can sign him to an offer sheet, but I don't think we're going to do that and give up the 11th pick. In fact, I know we won't do that. So it is what it is right now."
Payton's definitive response nixes one of Butler's options in an effort to earn a long-term deal.
The coach wouldn't speculate on any potential trade scenarios that could bring Butler to New Orleans. If the Saints won't sign the 27-year-old corner to an offer sheet, a trade is the only option to pry him away from New England this season.
If the Saints won't hand Butler an official offer sheet -- and no other team steps up out of the mist -- the corner will eventually be forced to sign his restricted free-agent tender.