The effort to keep Donald Butler in San Diego will soon intensify outside it.

Next week, the Chargers will be busy at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and per a source familiar with the situation, high on the agenda is a meeting with agent Eugene Parker. He represents Butler, the team's co-captain and weak-side inside linebacker who, among their 12 impending unrestricted free agents, is the highest priority to re-sign.

Butler's rookie contract expires on March 11 at 1 p.m. PT — the time the new league year begins.

He'll hit the open market then if no deal is in place, free to sign elsewhere.

A potential departure, however, stands as an improbable backdrop to discussions. It is expected a contract extension will be reached prior to Butler reaching the market. The Chargers want him in San Diego long term, and every indication from the 25-year-old is he wishes to stay here as well.