Lombardi was hired by Cleveland after a hiatus from the front office, but was fired after one season. He wants to remain active in football and his prior work with Bill Belichick in Cleveland links the two together. We've already looked at the prospects of Lombardi signing with the Patriots.
Loyko says that Lombardi will be taking a Personnel Executive position, and will likely be of great use heading into the draft. This move reeks of "back-up plan" as Nick Caserio might move on to run his own franchise in the near future. It can be considered similar to the Patriots signing back former coach Brian Daboll as insurance if Josh McDaniels received a head coaching position.
We'll see what happens as more news and reports come out. But as Loyko says:
Michael Lombardi finally gets Ryan Mallett #Patriots— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) February 13, 2014